The Family Protection Bill 2019 which will provide legal protection for victims of domestic violence is expected to be tabled in the Fono Ekepule before the end of the year.
This is according to the Government Lawyers from the Crown Law Office.
The government has been working on the Family Protection Bill for about ten years and the bill is now with the translators before it is presented to the Fono Ekepule.
A local committee headed by the Director General of the Ministry of Social Services was established several years ago to spearhead the work. Technical assistance in the drafting of the bill was provided by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s Regional Rights Resources Team and the New Zealand Parliamentary Counsel’s Office.
The principal purposes of this Act is to — to consolidate and simplify the law relating to marriage, and to provide for—
(i) no-fault divorce; and
(ii) the recognition of de facto relationships; and
(iii) a default position of a 50:50 division of assets when a marriage or de facto relationship ends; and
(iv) various forms of financial support to spouses and partners:
When this bill is passed it will provide legal protection for victims of domestic violence. Their abusers and perpetrators will face penalties of up to 2 years in prison which is harsher than the current common assault punishment.