Story: Domestic violence

The Bristol case

In 1994 the nation was shocked when the Bristol children – Tiffany (seven), Holly (three) and Claudia (18 months) – were killed by their father, who then died by suicide. Despite his history of violence towards his wife, he had been granted custody of the children by the Family Court. Critics pointed out the links between spousal violence and violence towards children that had been revealed by research. In 1995 the law was changed to prevent men who had been served with a protection order from having access to their children without adequate safeguards.

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How to cite this page:

Nancy Swarbrick, 'Domestic violence - Law and policing changes – 1980s and beyond', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 10 June 2023)

Story by Nancy Swarbrick, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 19 Jul 2018