How Stuff is supporting victims of domestic violence

Stuff has become just the fourth employer overall to be DVFREE Tick accredited

How Stuff is supporting victims of domestic violence

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of family violence in the developed world, as one in three women experience domestic violence and one in six men experience sexual violence.

While New Zealand may be socially-forward in other areas, its domestic violence rates are “absolutely shocking”, according to Stuff CEO Sinead Boucher.

“At Stuff, we’ve been supporting staff in need behind the scenes for many years, so we’re proud to get the DVFREE Tick and let our people know loud and clear to seek help if and when they should ever need it,” said Boucher.

Indeed, Stuff has become just the fourth employer overall to be DVFREE Tick accredited.

The company has offered staff 10 days’ paid leave to help with domestic violence-related issues since March 2017, which is more than the government requirement coming into force on 1 April to provide 10 days’ unpaid leave.

Stuff’s People & Culture team have been working with leading domestic violence charity organisation, Shine, to obtain the DVFREE Tick.

Shine’s DVFREE and Policy Advisor Holly Carrington said she’s “very pleased to welcome Stuff to the DVFREE Tick family”.

“It’s great to have an organisation with a voice as big as Stuff’s blazing the trail for other New Zealand employers to address domestic violence in the workplace in a meaningful way. As a collective force, employers can play a huge role in addressing New Zealand’s domestic violence epidemic,” said Carrington.

She added that because this is such a sensitive issue, staff experiencing domestic violence need to be confident the person they turn to at work has the ability to respond safely and effectively.

“This response could be anything from emotional support and a referral to Shine’s Helpline, to creating a workplace safety plan which could, for example, include getting a trespass order to keep their abuser off the work site.”

As well as a new Domestic Violence Policy and new Domestic Violence Guideline, the DVFREE Tick sees key Stuff personnel trained as ‘First Responders’ to be fully equipped to deal with domestic violence issues and create safety plans for staff at risk – with training rolling out to all managers in the next six months.

“There are many ways we are trying to help at Stuff,” said Boucher.

“Whether it’s a confidential chat with one of our trained First Responders, a private accessible phone, other security measures, or organising urgent leave, flexible working and even redeployment – we really hope those staff who otherwise may have been too embarrassed or scared will come forward knowing they will be well-supported.”

Moreover, to celebrate achieving the DVFREE Tick and to take a stand against domestic violence in New Zealand, Stuff is joining Shine’s national fundraising campaign Light it Orange, running this week from 4 to 10 March.

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