06, Aug 2018
New Zealand has passed a law providing for paid leave to survivors of domestic violence, the Thomson Reuters Foundation reported. The country’s parliament narrowly voted to pass the bill, 63 to 57. The law, which is set to go into force in April 2019, mandates that employers allow survivors up to ten days’ leave so that they can extricate themselves from abusive situations; this could cover moving from their homes or being present at court hearings. According to a transcript of her speech, Green Party legislator Jan Logie, who led the push for the law, said, “We wait until things get really bad, or someone is killed, and then we wring our hands, squeeze in another hospital bed and build another prison”. She said, “No wonder gender-based violence has become entrenched. This bill is a commitment to early intervention and prevention.” New Zealand sees some of the highest rates of domestic violence among developed countries; according to domestic abuse charity Shine, police in the country respond to a family violence incident every four minutes, and numerous cases are not reported.