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Nikki Howell: Businesses should take a role in reducing domestic violence

Shine's DVFREE programme is currently supporting AA Insurance in working towards achieving the DVFREE Tick accreditation. AA Insurance’s Head of People & Capability Nikki Howell message about domestic violence in the workplace appeared in the NZ Herald on November 28th:

"'My ex-husband.. left me ruined financially, mentally and emotionally when we separated. He made life extremely difficult for me, including not letting me see my daughter. I felt like I had no one to turn to, but one of my team leaders saw me walking with my luggage and I confessed I was staying at the backpackers. AA Insurance became my refuge. My team leaders and a few select workmates made sure I was supported, and I now am on the other side of that deep, dark fog I found myself in.'

..As head of people and capability at a company with almost 750 staff, what happened to my colleague has become a personal reminder that employers have a responsibility beyond providing a decent wage and safe working conditions..

..Before we received the email I quoted earlier, we had no formal policy in place against domestic violence at AA Insurance. It soon became apparent that, without formalising our commitment, our people wouldn't know the extent to which we were willing to support them. So, we implemented our Domestic Violence Free Policy in 2018, ahead of the legislative requirement coming into force in April 2019. We have developed a support network role with volunteers trained to support their colleagues. And we are working towards achieving the DVFREE Tick through Shine..."

Read full editorial in the NZ Herald (note: links to NZ Herald subscriber content)