Last week, New Zealand passed a law that gives paid leave to victims of domestic violence. It was a huge victory for a country that has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the world. Reportedly, police respond to incidents of household violence every 4 minutes in New Zealand.
The new legislation gives victims 10 days of paid leave from their jobs so that they may leave their abusive partners, find new homes, and protect themselves and their children. Domestic violence victims will not need to provide proof of their circumstances, and they’ll also be entitled to fast-tracked flexible work conditions. Abusive partners tend to stalk their victims at work, so this entitlement allows victims to quickly change their work location, email address, or contact details with their place of employment.
“Part of this initiative is getting a whole-of-society response. We don’t just leave it to police but realise we all have a role in helping victims. It is also about changing the cultural norms and saying ‘we all have a stake in this and it is not OK.” ~ Jan Logie, Green Party MP via The Guardian
New Zealand’s law will go into effect next April and will hopefully inspire other countries to enact similar benefits for victims of domestic violence.