Measures by Minister Teeven with respect to partner killing

The interests of the child, in a case of partner killing, must weigh heavier than the interest of the parent wanting access. The is what Minister Teeven, Secretary of State for Security and Justice wrote in a letter today to the Lower House. Teeven wants the court in such cases to first check whether this contact with the parent is in the best interests of the child. To ensure rapid and accurate assistance, a protocol has been set up. In addition, the Under Secretary of State wants there to be more research into the effects that partner killing has on children.

The consequences of partner killing for children are immense. In addition to the psychological assistance, it is important that this vulnerable group of children are able to find the peace and stability in their environment they need in order to begin processing the trauma The confrontation with the parent is not always in the best interests of the child in these cases

Under Secretary Teeven therefore wants to adapt the law so that the court always assesses whether or not contact with the parent is in the best interest of the child, after the Child Care and Protection Board has filed a petition to allow this. Moreover, Teeven also wants to avoid the situation in which the parent quickly submits requests for visitation with the child after access has been denied by the court. Because the judicial process can be stressful for the child and his environment, Teeven wants to change the law so that there is a two-year period in which the petition is declared inadmissable if the parent seeks contact

Under the leadership of the Ministry of Security and Justice, four expert meetings have taken place concerning the consequences of such family dramas on children. The results of these expert meetings have been incorporated into a protocol which will enter effect 1 December 2013.  The goal of this protocol is to determine a method by which, after a partner killing, provisional custody is provided within 24 hours so that children receive the desired professional support as soon as possible, in coordination with the other care that is provide for the surviving family members.

The Under Secretary also announced that he will have more research done on the effects of partner killing on children.