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Women’s Refuge “deeply disappointed” by National Party

Women’s Refuge “deeply disappointed” by National Party’s stance towards workplace DV bill

11th May 2018

Women’s Refuge is “deeply disappointed” by the National Party’s decision to not support the Domestic Violence – Victims’ Protection Bill that was presented to select committee yesterday.

“This is incredibly disappointing,” says Chief Executive of Women’s Refuge Dr Ang Jury, “for a political party that was just days ago praising their progress on family violence legislation, we are saddened to hear they will not extend this movement to support victims and perpetrators in the workplace.”

Over the last two years Women’s Refuge has been working closely with many organisations in New Zealand to develop family violence policy and provide training; Women’s Refuge had hoped this work would support legislative change that was supported by whole of government. New Zealand businesses such as Countdown, the Warehouse, and ANZ have made significant provisions for victims and perpetrators of domestic violence through workplace policy.

“We have worked closely with organisations like The Warehouse Group, Downer, Vodafone, Sky City and Fonterra, who are all committed to supporting their staff who might be experiencing family violence; they are already seeing the significant impacts and benefits this type of policy and support has made to not only the morale of the organisation and its staff, but also to productivity and business as a whole,” says Dr Jury.

“When you consider that most people are spending eight plus hours a day at work, having a responsive workplace where family violence can be talked about, and where people being harmed have an opportunity to be supported properly, can also protect against the loss of productivity and added costs involved in on-going harm to employees.”

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The Warehouse Group, one of the first to work with Women’s Refuge noticed the benefits almost immediately, with Acting Chief People Officer Julie Simpson explaining:

“Being a large organisation with well over 12,000 team members, any issue that impacts New Zealand is an issue that impacts our people. Having a range of policies and effective support systems means that we’re able to help people experiencing family violence get advice and take the time they need to keep safe. We have a strong culture around doing the right thing and supporting others, and we recognise that we’re employing a whole person, not just who someone is at work, so that’s why we’ve invested in policies like our Domestic Violence policy.”

The Bill sets out concrete processes to give victims of domestic violence stability and security at work, which helps them to get out of violent situations, do what’s best for their families, and prevent violence impacting their workplaces. For more information on how Women’s Refuge can help your organisation develop and progress Family Violence policy, visit


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