DVFREE Services

DVFREE offers the range of services detailed below. These can be accessed as part of the DVFREE Tick or independently. If you’d like to access any of these services, contact us now.

Our Services also incorporate advice on meeting new legal requirements under the Domestic Violence Victims' Protection Act, passed July 2018 and due to come into effect in April 2019. Read more about new legal requirements.

FREE DOWNLOAD of DVFREE Guidelines on Policy & Procedure. Access the FREE download of the Guidelines here, OR order a printed copy of the Guidelines, posted anywhere in NZ for $30+GST from Shine's web shop here.

These Guidelines provide detailed guidance with background information and specific suggestions to help employers make the workplace safe and supportive for employees experiencing domestic violence, help employers manage staff who perpetrate domestic violence safely and appropriately, and help employers raise awareness so all staff know how to get help for themselves or how to help others. 'Essentials' in the Guidelines form the basis of the criteria for the DVFREE Tick workplace accreditation.

Get further help with your policy and procedures at our regularly run workshop Creating Effective Policy and Procedures or with an initial 2 hour policy consultation.

Over the years, senior staff at Shine have supported corporates, government agencies, and not-for-profits to develop policy and procedures to improve how they respond to both staff and clients experiencing domestic violence. Some of these organisations have brought their policies to life and transformed the culture of their workplace, while others have developed an excellent policy, but never taken the next step to ensure that their staff have the tools and skills needed to enact the policy.

Policy is the foundation, but it’s only a starting point. In this video produced by the NZ Human Rights Commission, Shine Communications & Marketing Manager Holly Carrington speaks about the importance and the limitations of domestic violence policy.

We tailor training to meet your needs:

First Responder Training

We encourage employers to internally establish and advertise a help-seeking pathway in the workplace for staff experiencing domestic violence. This involves appointing selected staff as ‘first responders’ who staff can contact for help. Training for ‘first responders’ is critical to develop the skills and understandings to provide support for staff experiencing domestic violence. Shine teaches a basic understanding of domestic violence in a workplace setting, demonstrating how ‘first responders’ can intervene safely and effectively. These staff are often then well equipped for ‘courageous conversations’ on a range of sensitive and personal topics.

Contact us about delivering this for a group of your ‘first responders’, or send 1 to 4 of your staff to one of our public ‘first responder’ workshops. Numbers are limited in these workshops so that attendees can practice and learn from personalised, constructive feedback.

Training is more effective if your organisation already has policy and procedures in place that we can reinforce, as explained in the section above.

Training For Managers

Line managers who are not ‘first responders’ are taught basic skills for supporting staff who are experiencing domestic violence. This prepares managers to identify and respond to indicators or disclosures of domestic violence and provide ongoing support for those staff. This is supported by ‘first responders’ who have received the more in-depth training. We can deliver training workshops for groups of up to 30 managers. If you are a large employer and a DVFREE Tick partner organisation, we can train and accredit your internal trainers to deliver our DVFREE manager training. Contact us about delivering this for a group of your managers, or training and accrediting your trainer to deliver this training.

Introductory Workshop For Leaders

Some employers find it useful to provide this Shine workshop for their leaders. It builds a foundation of knowledge and support before implementing the programme. This workshop provides a basic understanding of domestic violence in the workplace, an overview of the DVFREE Tick and how it works, and touches on issues that often concern leaders before the programme is implemented. These include: professional boundaries for ‘first responders’ (staff identified as potential interim providers of help and support), confidentiality and information sharing, and staff perceptions of why the programme is being introduced. This workshop can be tailored to address particular concerns of employers and employees when introducing the programme. Contact us about delivering this workshop for your leaders.

In 2016, Westpac partnered with Shine to develop an online workplace learning module, which is now available to the public for free through Shine’s website. The interactive module takes approximately one hour to complete and gives the learner a basic understanding of the issue as well as some of the basics on how to seek help from Shine or other specialist domestic violence services, and how to support a colleague experiencing domestic violence.

Our DVFREE partners are able to upload the module to their own company intranet so that staff can have easy internal access to the module. We recommend that the internal link to the module sits alongside a link to the organisation’s domestic violence policy, information about how and where to access help within the workplace, and with a written or video statement from the CEO or GM supporting the policy and programme.

Access the module now

We recommend that your workplace makes it easy for staff to find help both within the workplace and in the community. A simple way for people to access help no matter where they are, or what their specific situation is that relates to domestic violence, is to ring Shine’s Helpline.

Shine national, free-to-call Helpline (0508-744-633) operates seven days a week, throughout the year, from 9am to 11pm. The Helpline offers confidential support; information; risk assessment, safety planning and legal advice; and referrals to local services. This support is available to:

  • anyone experiencing domestic violence,
  • anyone who has used abusive behaviour towards a partner or family member, or
  • anyone who needs advice about how to help someone they know - a colleague, friend, family member, neighbour, etc.

Read more about Shine's Helpline here
Order Helpline posters, pamphlets or cards through Shine’s webshop

Adrienne had worked for a large organisation for many years. She had been physically and emotionally abused by her husband for 20 years. He worked in the same complex, in a different department. She finally decided to leave. She knew about her employer’s domestic violence policy, so she talked to HR about her situation, knowing that she would be supported. HR referred her to the Shine Helpline, and immediately put in place a security plan. Her husband’s boss also instructed him that if he entered her department, he would potentially face instant dismissal. With support from her employer and from Shine, Adrienne managed to leave her husband and stay safe.

Jason worked as a waiter. His boyfriend became increasingly abusive after they moved in together. He beat up Jason on a regular basis, and left bruises where no one could see them. Jason rang Shine’s Helpline for support because his boyfriend was harassing him at work and he was in danger of losing his job. His boyfriend started by texting 20-30 times a day. After a few days, Jason stopped responding to every text, and his boyfriend began ringing 15-20 times a night. 

Other co-workers had to pick up the slack every time he took a call. Jason’s boyfriend occasionally came into the restaurant and sat at the bar keeping an eye on him, and once followed him into the kitchen to loudly accuse him of flirting with another employee. Jason’s boss told him that he needed to get his partner under control or risk losing his job. Jason was too ashamed to tell his boss what was going on at home, and thought his boss would not be supportive even if he told him. Although Shine was able to support Jason to leave his partner, the abuse at his workplace continued and some months later he was fired.

Anna was a highly skilled worker who got on well with her patients and colleagues, where she’d worked for 15 years. She began dating and moved in with a co-worker who soon became jealous, possessive and violent. Her boyfriend checked up on her at work throughout the day. She began coming in late or not at all. She was often preoccupied and forgetful. She was too ashamed to tell anyone what was going on, and feared she wouldn’t be believed. Her boss told her he didn’t want to lose her experience, but if she couldn’t improve her performance he would have to take action. This caused Anna greater stress and anxiety.

Eventually Anna was injured by her boyfriend, ended up in hospital and was referred to Shine. Shine helped Anna leave her boyfriend safely, but she felt terrified at work, never knowing when he would appear. Shine eventually helped Anne to relocate, which meant leaving her job. If she had been supported by her employer and kept safe at work, Anna may have found the strength to leave sooner, avoid injuries and an enormous amount of stress and trauma. She may have been able to keep her job and the organisation would have kept a highly skilled and experienced worker.

The manager of retail business got in touch with Shine to discuss his concerns that a valued employee was being abused and he didn’t know how to help. With coaching from Shine, he raised the issue with Donna, and offered to support her. He brought Donna to Shine where she shared her fear of leaving her partner because of his threats to kill her. Shine and her boss helped Donna put in place a number of safety strategies, including getting a Protection Order, serving her partner with a Trespass Notice for the workplace, moving her temporarily from front desk duties, making a photo of her partner available to her workmates so they could warn her if he came to the office, and accompanying her to and from her car.

The partner was arrested and released on bail. He was later arrested again, once for breaching the Trespass Notice when he was observed by a staff member. He finally left her alone after finding that she was no longer vulnerable to his abuse. Donna is still in the job that she loves, and her boss has a staff member who is more loyal and committed than ever.

Janine’s relationship was great for two years. Then he went away on an exciting work project, began drinking and calling her all hours of the night. He was bipolar and still in a manic phase when he returned and began abusing her. One day he beat her badly. She rang police, he was arrested, and Shine began supporting her. She was in a senior work role and parenting two teenagers. In the months before the court hearing, he kept contacting her. He’d say things from ‘I love you, I’m so sorry’ to ‘It’s your fault I lost my son and I’ll kill myself.’ He attempted suicide three times. Police said he would likely go to prison. She felt guilty and wanted to withdraw charges.

Janine told her managing director what was happening. “If my partner was dying of cancer, there would have been some understanding. But my managers were uncomfortable with what I was going through and didn’t want to know. When my ex died in an accident, they couldn’t understand why I was grieving.” Suffering from depression, she went to three EAP sessions, but talking to Shine was more helpful. They reinforced what she needed to hear - that his situation wasn’t her fault, and his abuse was not okay. These messages and Shine’s referral to a good lawyer helped her get through, become stronger, and eventually find a new job with a more supportive employer.

As a victim of violence in the home, Rebecca found it difficult to get time off work while she was going through the process of leaving her abusive husband and trying to provide adequate support for her two young children through that difficult time. People in her workplace didn't understand what she was going through and saw her as an unreliable, emotional wreck. After many years of abuse, Rebecca finally left her husband with help from Shine.

According to Rebecca, “If my work had supported me through that time and given me paid leave when I needed it to deal with what was going on, I would have been in a better frame of mind and more focused on my job while I was at work. Instead, I made a lot of mistakes at work and wasn’t a very happy person to be around. A lot of things happened outside work, leaving my children and me mentally scarred because I didn’t have enough time and energy to get things sorted with our safety planning.”

Zac started his new reception job the same day he broke off his relationship with Anton. Two days later, Anton was out in front of Zac’s office, watching him. He was there all week. Workmates started noticing. Zac was embarrassed and anxious. Zac finally went out to talk to Anton – ending up with Anton shouting at and threatening him. Zac came inside feeling humiliated. His manager asked him to come in her office. Zac was scared he would get a warning or lose his job.

Instead, Lori asked him how he was feeling. She’d seen the man outside shouting and was concerned for Zac’s safety. She reminded him about their domestic violence policy and that he had a right to be safe. She offered to help him with a workplace safety plan and to have him ring Shine for help to deal with Anton outside work. With a trespass order, a temporary shift of desk and some other support strategies, the stalking ended and Zac felt very grateful.