Domestic violence and the workplace DVFREE

>>Free online workplace learning module now live, thanks to partnership with Westpac!

"As a victim of violence in the home, I found it difficult to get time off work while I was going through the process of leaving my husband while I was financially, mentally and physically supporting my 2 children. People in my workplace didn't understand what I was going through and just saw me as an unreliable, emotional wreck as we are not encouraged to share what is going on in our private lives to our work colleagues. 

I was only able to find a way to escape the relationship through the help and guidance of Shine. 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 of work, leaving my children and myself scarred mentally because I didn’t have enough time to get things sorted like safety plans."   - former Shine client

Domestic abuse has a significant and far-reaching negative impact on New Zealand workplaces. 

Any medium to large-size employer, especially with significant numbers of female staff, will have employees who are victims of domestic abuse, as one in three New Zealand women are physically or sexually assaulted by a partner in their lifetime.  Experiencing abuse from a partner may affect a worker’s ability to concentrate, handle conflict, get along with co-workers, and of course come to work on time or at all.

Shine’s DVFREE programme improves the workplace response to domestic abuse by helping employers to develop appropriate HR policy, training management and HR staff and raising awareness of the issue amongst staff.  Shine has a flexible approach to delivering this programme, structuring the training and awareness raising activities to meet the requirements of client organisations that implement the programme.   

“The expertise of Shine trainers made them valuable partners with us in implementing the University of Auckland’s family violence project.  Participants evaluate Shine’s engaging and professional presentation highly.”   

- The Equity Office - Te Ara Tautika, University of Auckland

“As a large employer, we believe we can assist our staff and the broader community in relation to DVFree. Our focus has been to create greater staff awareness around domestic violence – not just physical but also psychological violence.” 

- Gina Dellabarca, 

General Manager Human Resources, Westpac


DVFREE in your workplace will:

  • Create a workplace where staff know that victims of domestic abuse are supported to be safe, and that perpetrators are held accountable, but also supported to change
  • Help develop appropriate workplace policies and procedures for supporting employees who are being affected by violence at home 
  • Raise awareness amongst management and staff about domestic abuse and how individual staff can get help for themselves or help others within the workplace

By implementing DVFREE™, organisations can both reduce the costs to their business, and, most importantly, help prevent domestic violence.

Addressing this issue is the right thing to do, as a good corporate citizen, but also improves productivity by putting in place HR policy and delivering training in order to better support staff who are affected by domestic abuse.

Shine has implemented DVFREE™ for many organisations, including small, medium and large businesses, government departments and community organisations.

For more information or to discuss DVFREE™ for your organisation, please contact Shine’s Communications & Marketing Manager, Holly Carrington at 09-520-8632 or Note that Shine runs DVFREE™ on a fee for service basis, with fees charged dependent on how the programme is structured.

For more information on domestic violence in the workplace:

NZ Human Rights Commission (re family violence policy in the workplace)

NZ Family Violence Clearinghouse 

NZ Public Service Association 

‘Domestic Violence: the Impact on Business’ in Employment Today magazine 2012

>> Free online workplace learning module now live, thanks to a partnership with Westpac!
>> Free online workplace learning module now live, thanks to a partnership with Westpac!

“Staying at the Shine Refuge has been an absolute life changing experience for myself and my daughters. I cannot begin to explain how grateful I am for the enormous amount of help we have received from the ladies at the house.”