new zealand

‘This is a win for victims, a win for employers, and a win for society,’ says Jan Logie, the amazing Herstory Maker who introduced the landmark Bill.

New Zealand has become the first country in the world to pass legislation allowing survivors of Domestic Violence (DV) to receive 10 days of paid leave from work, so that they can escape their partner’s abuse.

Jan Logie, a Green Party MP who worked in a women’s refuge for DV survivors before entering politics, has been working on introducing the Bill for seven years. After cheering the win, Ms. Logie urged other countries to follow New Zealand’s lead, saying that the new legislation would give victims an opportunity to move house, get children into new schools, and also protect victims from abusers attempting to ruin their careers or begin stalking them at their place of work.

New Zealand continues to have one of the ‘developed’ world’s highest rates of DV. Authorities state that approximately a third of ALL women in the country experience physical or sexual violence during their lifetimes, with 76% of incidents going unreported to the police.

This law is a world first and it will make a significant difference for people trying to escape domestic violence. (Jan Logie, MP, New Zealand)

MPs cheered as the ‘Domestic Violence Victims Protection Bill’ passed by 63 votes to 57 – without the support of the NZ National Party, which protested the Bill, saying that yet another cost was being passed on to small and medium-sized businesses.

However, Ms. Logie assured employers that this specialist leave would apply only to survivors and people caring for child survivors. And whilst the Bill entitles victims up to 10 days’ paid leave a year, statistics showed that most victims chose not to take the full 10 days.

Survivors of DV under the Bill will not be required to provide proof of their situation, and will be eligible to be fast-tracked for flexible working conditions: this includes changing their work location, altering email addresses and having their contact details removed from a business’s website.

These measures place the survivor’s needs at the heart of the action, under a Bill which we at Making Herstory believe the UK parliament would do well to replicate under the forthcoming Domestic Abuse Bill.