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. By meeting the criteria of the DVFREE Tick, your organisation will also meet new legislative requirements of the Domestic Violence Victims Protection Act 2018 in force from 1st April 2019.

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.

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 will help you create policy and procedures so that your staff who experience domestic violence feel safe enough to ask for help. DVFREE will help your leaders know how to manage staff who perpetrate domestic violence. DVFREE will help all of your staff know what to do if a colleague is experiencing or perpetrating domestic violence. 

DVFREE Guidelines for Policy & ProceduresDVFREE Guidelines on Policy and Procedures

DOWNLOAD the Guidelines for FREE here  or  you can purchase a printed copy for $30 to be posted anywhere in NZ. The Guidelines provide detailed and comprehensive recommendations - a good starting point for any employer. The ‘essentials’ of the Guidelines also form the basis of the criteria for the DVFREE Tick.

DVFREE training for First Responders and Managers
DVFREE trains First Responders in your workplace to respond to disclosures and support staff experiencing domestic violence. There is a shorter and less intensive DVFREE training for managers. We run open workshops that up to four of your staff can attend, or we can train a group of your First Responders or Managers within your workplace - contact us to discuss this option. Read more about the different types of DVFREE training under 'Services'.

Access the online learning module about domestic violence and the workplace

Westpac Bank and Shine collaborated to create this 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. 

There are other ways you can raise awareness about domestic violence in your workplace - we can talk to you about these ideas, or subscribe to our DVFREE e-news below for updates and more ideas for your staff domestic violence programme.


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Health and Safety

“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.” (from the Health and Safety Act 2015 Commentary)

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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“The model we have developed with Shine has given our managers tools to deal with some of the issues faced by our people. The systems we have put in place are already working." The Ministry of Justice was the first state sector agency awarded the DVFREE Tick. CE Andrew Bridgman urged other public sector organisations to follow its lead.
“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.”
"It is our duty as a responsible employer to ensure our people feel safe and supported at work. Shine’s DVFREE programme has given us the knowledge and tools to be confident in how we respond to any of our people who experience domestic 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.”
“This initiative is about making family violence OK to talk about within our organisation and ensuring our people know help is readily available if needed... Careful handling of the first contact from a victim when they seek help is critical so we’re grateful for the support of Shine who have advised us on policy and provided workplace support training to some of our employees across the country."
“A colleague had a staff member with performance issues recently, and it transpired she was experiencing domestic violence at home. I suggested he give Shine a call for advice on support for her. Your Helpline was amazing, and my colleague came away inspired and fired up to assist.”