Digital Domestic Violence: Are Victims of Intimate Partner Cyber Harassment Sufficiently Protected by New Zealand's Current Legislation?

37 Pages Posted: 17 May 2017

See all articles by Ruby King

Ruby King

Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law, Student/Alumni

Date Written: May 16, 2017

Abstract

This paper examines the issue of intimate partner cyber harassment and how effectively the issue is dealt with by New Zealand’s legislation. It argues that while not completely futile, the current legislation does not provide sufficient protections for victims. A suite of legislative amendments to the Domestic Violence Act 1995, the Harassment Act 1997 and the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015 is therefore recommended. The paper begins by outlining the nature of the behaviour constituting intimate partner cyber harassment and its prevalence and impacts on victims. From this, it is argued that effective protections must be established. The current legislation as it stands fails to fully appreciate the complex issue and protections for victims lie behind procedural barriers. Amending existing legislation is the most desirable solution as it enables pre-existing protections to be utilised to more effectively apply to and thus protect victims of intimate partner cyber harassment.

Keywords: Intimate Partner Cyber Harassment, Domestic Violence Act 1995, Harassment Act 1997, Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015

JEL Classification: K00, K10, K14

Suggested Citation

King, Ruby, Digital Domestic Violence: Are Victims of Intimate Partner Cyber Harassment Sufficiently Protected by New Zealand's Current Legislation? (May 16, 2017). Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper, Student/Alumni Paper No. 1/2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2968707

Ruby King (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law, Student/Alumni ( email )

PO Box 600
Wellington, Victoria 6140
New Zealand

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