The Ministry of Justice has become the first public sector organisation to receive the DVFREE Tick from Shine, New Zealand’s specialist domestic violence prevention charity. The certification is the second DVFREE Tick awarded in New Zealand.
On Wednesday 18 April, Shine’s Acting GM Jill Proudfoot and Communications Manager Holly Carrington presented a DVFREE Tick certificate to Ministry of Justice Chief Executive Andrew Bridgman at the Ministry’s head office in Wellington, with 50 key Ministry staff present.
Working with Shine’s specialist advisers and trainers, the Ministry of Justice has trained a group of ‘First Responders’ who are able to talk to employees experiencing domestic violence and connect them to specialist help, as well as nearly all of its 470 managers.
To qualify for the DVFREE Tick, at least 90 percent of managers within an organisation must undergo DVFREE training; the DVFREE Tick criteria allows several years for large employers to reach that threshold. The Ministry has also commenced an in-person family violence awareness programme for all of its 3,800 employees.
“We are impressed by the level of commitment from the Ministry’s leadership for this programme. This is an unprecedented level of face-to-face education about domestic violence done by a New Zealand workplace”, says Shine’s Communications Manager, Holly Carrington.
The Ministry’s Chief Operating Officer Carl Crafar, who was senior executive sponsor for the family violence programme, says employee wellbeing is a high priority for him and his senior colleagues.
“We want to make it clear that the rates of family violence in New Zealand are not acceptable. We know that the prevalence will mean our people will be impacted and we want them to know it’s ok to ask for help and that they will be fully supported when they do so.”
Ministry Chief Executive, Andrew Bridgman, has urged other public sector organisations to follow its lead.