Tauranga's Sensible Sentencing Trust is calling for a three-strikes rule for domestic violence as the Government proposes a major overhaul of family violence laws.
This week Justice Minister Amy Adams launched a discussion document with a raft of proposals to tackle domestic violence, including creating new family violence offences and providing greater protection for victims.
Ms Adams said levels of family violence remained "stubbornly high" .
"We know around half of all violent offence charges in our courts relate to family violence and that in 86 per cent of violence against intimate partners the victims are women."
The discussion document also proposes better information sharing between the courts, police, agencies and community organisations.
Tauranga Sensible Sentencing Trust spokesman Ken Evans said family violence had reached epidemic levels.
An overhaul of family violence laws was long overdue, he said.
"There has got to be greater deterrents and much early intervention measures ... perpetrators need to know from the outset the consequences of their actions. I do think a three-strikes law for any forms of violence, particularly family violence crime makes absolute sense."
Mr Evans said the three-strikes law for high end violence appeared to be working. Tauranga Women's Refuge manager Angela Warren-Clark said she backed the review and a number of the proposed changes as there had been gaps "in the system" for some time. She said she supported the creation of a new set of family violence offences, and mandatory arrests for protection order breaches.
"We know of some people in our community who have been the subject of 30-plus domestic violence callouts by police and one who has cracked 100 callouts," she said.
Mrs Warren-Clark said changes to the Privacy Act would allow better information sharing. "Only 20 per cent of family violence is reported to police ... Domestic violence is not just about a punch. It's also about people who every day live in quiet desperation in their home ..."
Mrs Warren-Clark is calling on the Government to establish a Ministry of Domestic Violence to look into these issues, including the level of funding given to community help agencies.