New tool for workplaces to assess whether domestic violence response is best practice

Oct 27, 2022

A new online tool, developed in conjunction with 2degrees and Big Bloom, has been launched by Shine’s DVFREE training programme to help workplaces quickly and easily find out whether they have best practice domestic violence approach.

One in three women in New Zealand experience domestic violence and the Police receive a family violence call out every three and a half minutes.

Shine Family Violence Education and Training Director Christopher Hill says domestic violence is such a prevalent, but hidden, issue in New Zealand that most workplaces will have people who are impacted by it.

“Employers have legal obligations under the Domestic Violence – Victims Protection Act 2018 and this tool is a quick ‘ready reckoner’ to help them assess just how compliant they are, and how employers can go beyond meeting minimum obligations to provide the best response to people experiencing domestic violence. Sometimes organisations might have something in place, but it’s not always enough. Our new tool will help them ensure they are doing the right thing,” says Christopher Hill.

“Workplaces are not always safe places in terms of domestic violence and as domestic violence is a complex issue it is not easy to get right.”

The online questionnaire assesses the level of workplace preparedness to respond to members of staff experiencing or perpetuating domestic violence. It asks questions like ‘Do you have people in your organisation to provide workplace support for those impacted by domestic violence?’ and ‘Does your organisation offer Workplace Wellbeing and Safety Planning to those impacted by domestic violence, as well as helping them access support from specialist domestic violence services?

“It’s important that these issues are addressed correctly so workplaces are able to protect their people and their skill base, and show that they really care about employee well-being,” says Christopher Hill.

The quiz tool was developed as part of a collaborative effort coordinated by French social innovation organisation Big Bloom for the international ‘Together for Women’ Hackathon. The Hackathon was led by mobile provider 2degrees, with Air New Zealand and Microsoft also involved. Shine has been supporting people experiencing domestic violence since 1990. Over the years Shine has heard stories from people whose employers hindered their safety and well-being at work. Shine created the DVFREE Tick so that more employees experiencing domestic violence will feel safe and supported at work.

DVFREE is a best practice workplace response to domestic violence that exceeds legal obligations.

Partnering with Shine for the DVFREE Tick shows that workplaces have taken meaningful steps to support their people experiencing domestic violence and ensured that all their staff know how to support or respond appropriately to people experiencing domestic violence, and people perpetrating domestic violence.