Making the workplace domestic violence free

The DVFREE Tick is a mark of confidence that an employer has taken meaningful steps to create a domestic violence-free workplace, in other words, a workplace that is safe and supportive for staff experiencing domestic violence, and that does not tolerate staff using work time or resources to perpetrate domestic abuse. The DVFREE Tick is given by Shine, a highly reputable specialist domestic abuse service provider that has been helping victims of domestic abuse to become safe since 1990.

How the DVFREE Tick Works

DVFREE offers a range of services that can be accessed as part of the DVFREE Tick or independently, from consulting on policy development and awareness raising activity, to training for your staff.

DVFREE Assists with Policy, Training and More

DVFREE Guidelines for Policy & ProceduresA good starting point for any employer is to develop effective policy and procedures. Our DVFREE Guidelines on Policy and Procedures provide detailed and comprehensive recommendations, and also outline criteria for the DVFREE Tick. Purchase of the Guidelines includes two hours of consultation with a Shine expert. (Click here to purchase through webshop.)

Westpac Bank and Shine collaborated to create a learning module to help New Zealanders better understand domestic violence and how it impacts on the workplace. It also shows how to help colleagues who are experiencing, or perpetrating, domestic violence. This module is free to access through Shine’s website and takes about one hour to complete.

Access the online learning module about domestic violence and the workplace


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Health and Safety

Domestic violence will be specifically included in the definition of a workplace hazard in the Health and Safety Act, under changes to that Act in the Domestic Violence Victim’s Protection Bill 2016.

The Health and Safety Act 2015 Commentary said this:
“Fear, fatigue, and other responses to domestic violence can cause hazardous behaviour by some workers…We encourage the ministry, businesses, and regulators to mitigate the effects of domestic violence on work health and safety.”

In more serious cases, staff experiencing domestic violence are at risk of injury and death. Co-workers may also be at risk of violence from an abuser who comes to the victim’s workplace.

Improve Productivity

Domestic violence costs employers $368 million annually, due to lost productivity (Kahui, Ku, Snively, 2014). Staff experiencing domestic violence may:

  • Be depressed, anxious or distracted.
  • Take time off work or leave work altogether.
  • Have their ability to work sabotaged.

Co-workers may provide cover, spent work time trying to help, or feel distracted or anxious worrying about their colleague. Abusers on staff may take work time or use work resources to perpetrate abuse.

Social Responsibility

Domestic violence is a NZ epidemic:

  • 1 in 3 NZ women are physically or sexually abused by a partner/ex-partner in their lifetime.
  • Rates of intimate partner violence for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) couples are as high as for heterosexual couples. Every 5 minutes, NZ Police respond to a domestic violence situation.
  • Half of all NZ murders are domestic related.

Employers can play a key role helping victims be safe, holding abusers accountable, and speaking out on the issue to help move our society towards a zero tolerance of family violence.

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“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.”
“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.”