Women's Refuge say there's a need for more dedicated domestic violence courts and judges

Women's Refuge say the latest discussion document on domestic violence is the right move, but more dedicated domestic violence courts and judges is what will make a real difference in helping more victims and saving lives.

Those at the coal face of domestic violence say the latest discussion document is a positive step forward.

Julie Hart says, “Domestic violence is not an easy thing for people to deal with because the hearts attached to it.”

Last year police responded to over 100,000 domestic violence incidents, figures showing Māori are almost three times more likely to be killed by their partner than non-Māori.

Vi Pirini says, “Keeping in mind that the police only deal with up to 20% of reported incidences there's still that 80% that aren't reported.”

These workers say having more domestic violence courts and judges would be of huge benefit.

Megan Thomassen-Clarke says, “They get a better understanding, they'd have that back knowledge, and the training that goes with it can provide a much better service to women and children and granting parenting orders and protection orders.

The introduction of the domestic violence laws in 1995 and the It's Not OK campaign have strengthened domestic violence reporting.

Hart says, “Today in 2015 you'll get doctors making referrals, nurses, school teachers work colleague the boss will ring us.”

The discussion document raises numerous points and public consultation will run until 18 September.