Victims of domestic violence in New Zealand will now be allowed to take up to 10 days paid leave from work to try to escape the abuse.
This is part of a scheme to address the nation’s “shocking” levels of family violence.
Introducing the scheme, which is the first in the developed world, Greens MP Jan Logie, a member of the ruling Labour-led coalition, said the leave would help victims to move homes or settle children into new schools. She said it would also help to protect victims from abusers, who often stalked them at work or tried to sabotage their careers.
“This is a win for victims, a win for employers, and a win for society,” she said.
“This law is a world first and it will make a significant difference for people trying to escape domestic violence.”
New Zealand has one of the world’s highest rates of domestic violence, a phenomenon that has been blamed on a range of factors, including high levels of alcohol and drug use as well as societal attitudes towards the status of women.
Authorities say about a third of New Zealand’s women experience physical or sexual violence during their lifetimes and 76 per cent of incidents are not reported to police.