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Annah Stretton was a panellist at the Auckland Women Lawyers’ Association (AWLA) Criminal Justice Forum on Domestic Violence held in March 2016. Prompted by the Government’s release of the public discussion document titled “Strengthening New Zealand’s legislative response to family violence” in 2015, AWLA assembled leaders from different areas of the criminal justice sector to share their opinions and experiences on how to address this multi-dimensional problem.

Annah was joined on the panel by the Manukau Crown Solicitor Natalie Walker, Chief District Court Judge Jan-Marie Doogue, newly-appointed Solicitor-General Una Jagose, Police Superintendent Tusha Penny, and Labour MP Jacinda Ardern. Panellists spoke to the topic from various perspectives – be it prosecutorial, judicial, policy, police, or social justice – and touched on proposed legislative changes, the approach of the courts, and new initiatives targeting domestic violence.

Annah is a confident and powerful speaker who inspired the audience by describing how her charity “RAW” is making a huge change in the lives of the “invisible demographic” of recidivist female offenders.

Ms Stretton encouraged everyone to think about what they could do – to find something they are passionate about and do something towards making a change – and her own example is certainly proof that, with enough will, this can be done.

Inspired by RAW’s maxim “If you can’t help 100 people, then just help one”, AWLA has made a financial contribution to RAW and wishes Annah and the team at RAW all the best with the successful implementation of the second stage of the RAW pilot.


Anita Killeen, Barrister, and Chair of the Auckland Women Lawyers’ Association Criminal Justice Forum on Domestic Violence (March, 2016).