Through DVFREE, Shine has supported hundreds of employers – businesses, government agencies, crown entities and not-for-profit organisations of all sizes – to create or update relevant policies and procedures, train key staff, and inform and raise awareness for all staff.

DVFREE partner organisations are helping to create a culture shift in NZ so that people who hear about or see domestic violence are prepared to offer help and support, and so that it becomes easier and safer for people experiencing domestic violence to access support they need, and ultimately so that fewer people perpetrate domestic violence.

DVFREE™ is brought to you by Shine (Safer Homes in New Zealand Everyday). Shine created the DVFREE programme in 2001 to improve the workplace response to domestic violence, after years of hearing good and bad stories from our clients about how their employer either supported, or undermined, their safety and wellbeing.

In 2017, Shine created the DVFREE Tick employer accreditation to recognise and partner with employers that implement a best practice workplace programme.

More recently, DVFREE has begun to support organisations to improve their response to customers who experience domestic violence.

Please contact us today to find out more about how we can help your workplace become DVFREE.

About Shine

About Shine

Founded in 1990, Shine provides a range of effective, practical specialist domestic violence services, that all focus on improving safety for adults and children who experience domestic violence. Some of these services offer direct support and advocacy for adults and children, including our national Helpline and other Auckland-based frontline services. We also motivate and support people who perpetrate domestic violence to change through our No Excuses programme in Auckland.

Shine also offers services, including DVFREE, that help other organisations, professionals, and community members to respond safely and effectively to people who experience and who perpetrate domestic violence, and that aim to prevent domestic violence.

Shine training programmes range from brief awareness-raising sessions to an intensive two-day training, and our six-day internal training for staff and volunteers, as well as training delivered through our DVFREE™ programme and our Shine in School programme. Shine supports NZ District Health Boards and accredits their trainers to deliver training to DHB staff on family violence and child abuse intervention.

Most Shine trainers have significant clinical experience in working with victims and/or people who use violence directly. Shine’s training consistently receives positive feedback from participants.

Our Team

Holly Carrington

DVFREE Programme lead

Holly Carrington is Shine's DVFREE & Policy Advisor, based in Wellington since April 2018. She has led the development of the DVFREE programme in since 2016, including creating the DVFREE Tick workplace accreditation and DVFREE Guidelines on Policy & Procedures. She was previously Shine's Communications & Marketing Manager and prior to that Partnerships & Training Director. She joined Shine in 2000 and was part of the senior leadership team from 2003. Since 2000, she has delivered domestic violence training - including to judges, police, corporates, and many others; researched and written Shine policy submissions; and been a media spokesperson on tv, print and radio. Her early Shine experience includes advocacy for domestic violence victims and facilitating for Shine's non-violence programme. Holly was a Trustee for Auckland Sexual Abuse HELP from 2011-2014. In 2020, Holly was a 2020 Westpac Women of Influence Community Hero Award finalist. Holly previously worked in fundraising, advocacy, and community development with various not-for-profits in her native California.

Margaret Fitzgibbon

DVFREE team leader

Margaret Fitzgibbon has been a DVFREE Coordinator and Senior Trainer for Shine since June 2019. Margaret has over 20 years of experience working in not-for-profit organisations as a trainer and coach for adult learners. Her various roles have involved the building of capacity of families; programme management and community development, and community consultation and integration. Throughout these roles she has worked directly with families experiencing domestic violence, and has recognized that education is a vital part of a multi-faceted community approach to create violence-free communities. Previously, Margaret worked for HIPPY (Home Interaction Programme for Parents and Youngsters) for 17 years, most recently as a Manager for Great Potentials Foundation/HIPPY NZ, training, supporting and advising 41 HIPPY Site Coordinators throughout New Zealand. During this time she developed a comprehensive training package for HIPPY NZ and completed a Graduate Diploma in Higher Education.

Mira Taitz


Mira Taitz has been a Senior Trainer for DVFREE and Shine since August 2021. She is an experienced community worker and adult educator.  Prior to joining Shine, she was chairperson of Te Wāhi Wāhine o Tamaki Mākaurau, Auckland Women’s Centre, which has had a close association with Shine for many years. She was Chairperson for four years and previously served on their board for three years.  She also worked as a community educator for YouthLaw Aotearoa for four years, where she led a community outreach and training programme on human rights with over 4,000 participants annually. She developed bicultural practice and commitment at Morningside Playcentre, which was commended by ERO. She has worked as a tutor at the Department of Anthropology at the University of Auckland, in social science research to improve people’s experiences in the justice system at universities in Sydney, and as an ESL English teacher.  Mira has a Masters in Economic Anthropology.

Dr Rachel Williamson

SENIOR Trainer

Dr Rachel Williamson is a Senior DVFREE Trainer, based in Christchurch/Ōtautahi. In 2005, she volunteered with Shine as an advocate for victims of domestic violence referred by local police and Auckland Hospital. She then became a Shine employee, working with advocates to produce research reports and other resources for Shine clients and external audiences. Since then, she has worked as an English and Media Studies teacher in a number of secondary schools and an external examiner for NCEA. She has also been a tutor, guest-lecturer, and marker at tertiary level. Rachel holds a postgraduate diploma in secondary teaching, a Masters degree in English and Women's Studies, and a PhD in Cultural Studies. She has published her research in academic journals and peer-reviewed book collections, and also presented at international conferences. Her research is interdisciplinary in nature, focusing on the intersections between representation and embodied lived experiences, particularly in relation to women's experiences.

Claire Southward

DVFREE senior trainer

Claire Southward is a DVFREE Senior Trainer based in Wellington since March 2022. She has also worked part time as a Violence Intervention Programme (VIP) Coordinator for the Hutt Valley District Health Board (DHB) since 2017, training and supporting health professionals to recognise and respond to intimate partner violence and child abuse and neglect. Claire is a Registered Social Worker and has worked across a range of acute hospital wards for the last 17 years. During this time, she has supported many women who have experienced violence from a partner and, together with other agencies, enabled them to find out more about their options and plan towards increasing their safety.  Claire has a Masters Applied degree in Social Work (2001) and a Postgraduate Certificate in Health Sciences (Violence Prevention, 2020).