Man in custody awaiting trial for assaulting a family member

A man is in prison awaiting trial for assaulting a female family member last week.

Chief of Police Tim Wilson says that this will be the third case of family violence or gender-based violence that they have investigated and prosecuted this year.

Domestic or family violence is an under-reported crime in Niue. The Chief of Police Tim Wilson told BCN News, that the low reporting of domestic violence is a world-wide issue and not just Niue.

According to the Chief there is no specific domestic violence law in Niue so all family violence cases and offenders are charged with common assault under the 1966 Niue Act which is the same law, they use to prosecute people who fight in night clubs and bars.

Because of the absence of a domestic violence law, the Police says that ensuring a successful prosecution is dependent on the evidence of the incident. The Chief says that it is vital that the Police are contacted immediately so they can collect evidence to support their case before the courts.

If the victims don’t report straight away, the Police case will not be as strong and sometimes the victim will withdraw the complaint.

Chief Wilson says that alcohol plays a major role in the domestic violence incidents in Niue and his message to the public is to consume alcohol responsibly, especially as we’re heading into the festive season.

If you and anyone you know is suffering domestic abuse or family violence please call 999 or 015 after hours or call the Police at 4333 during working hours.

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