How to Support Someone Experiencing Family Violence

For all Individuals
For Employers (The Employers' Toolkit)

The most important things to do are:

  • Don't judge
  • Listen
  • Believe
  • Take all violence seriously
  • Let them know that it's not their fault
  • Let them know that there are no excuses, Family Violence is unacceptable
  • Acknowledge the courage and the strength it has taken them to get this far.

Practical Support:

  • Support them to gather information on emergency accommodation
  • Support them to make a safety plan Support Pages - Safety Plans
  • Support them to gather legal information Legal information
  • Support them to gather financial/benefit information (Visit Work and Income's Website for more information www.workandincome.govt.nz)
  • Offer them support for childcare, support with police or lawyers, transport, storage etc. 

Other support:

  • Tell them your concerns; just be honest and respectful.
  • Allow them to make their own decisions; give them information and support that enables them to do so
  • Support them even if they decide to stay. It can be very difficult to watch a friend or family member stay in an abusive relationship, but leaving can be very  difficult. Try to support them until they feel strong enough to leave, then go over a safety plan with her.
  • Think about the children. Support them by reassuring them with familiar routines, toys and people. Help them understand what is happening but protect them from the details. Listen to their feelings and wishes and model non-violent respectful behaviour.
  • Educate yourself. Use this website as a tool, or contact our crisis-line to discuss family violence.
  • Look after yourself. It is hard work being a support person. You can get support for yourself from Aviva via the crisis line.

The Employers' Toolkit

The Family Violence Employers Toolkit contains information on how employers can support employees who are experiencing or have experienced family violence.

It contains:

  • Information on Family Violence
  • Family Violence and Employment Information
  • Solutions for Addressing Family Violence
  • Workplace Charters and Policy Templates
  • Useful Contacts and Resources

Read more about the Family Violence Employers Toolkit here