New Zealand Police v Hawley [2019] NZDC 11552

Published 23 October 2019

Domestic violence — psychological abuse — definition of psychological abuse — breach of protection order — removing children from country — Hague Convention — Domestic Violence Act 1995. The defendant appeared on a charge of engaging in psychological abuse of a protected person. The victim was his wife, who had a protection order against him. The alleged psychological abuse was his decision to remove the children from the country without proper consent from the victim. The defendant only returned the children to the country because the victim initiated Hague Convention proceedings to force their return. The term "psychological abuse" is not defined in the Domestic Violence Act or in any authority, so the Court adopted the ordinary meanings of the terms "psychological" and "abuse" to determine the charge. The Court found that the defendant's conduct did amount to psychological abuse, ruling that the charge was established. Judgment Date: 11 June 2019.