16 Jul 2015

Call for self-defence argument to be extended

6:44 pm on 16 July 2015

The anti-violence group Shine wants battered woman who kill their abusive partners to be able to argue self-defence.

The Law Commission is investigating whether the fear of a fatal attack in the future could be enough to trigger such a plea in court.

Shine's director of client services, Jill Proudfoot, told Checkpoint some of these retaliations happened during an incident.

"But there's the other situation where a woman is living with such desperation and terror that she plans a homicide.

"And she does it at a time that maybe he's asleep, or drugged or whatever, in order to save her life or her children's' lives."

She said in that context, imminent danger - which was the test at the moment - has to defined much more broadly.