Specialist Peer Support

Specialist Peer Support draws on the experience of women and men who have overcome family violence to offer inspiration and support to those on their own journey. Read, watch & listen to some of the voices of those with lived experience to see how they overcame violence.

Specialist Peer Support provides the connection of shared experience and understanding when it comes to family violence. A ‘peer’ represents hope and the tangible evidence that a life free from violence is achievable. They are the embodiment of the possibility of a better, safer life and they also demonstrate that overcoming family violence is something to be proud of and to share.  

The value of specialist peer support is well established across a broad range of health and social needs, but it is a new service model for family violence in New Zealand. Research into peer support indicates that when it is coupled with other services, client outcomes are significantly improved. We believe that Specialist Peer Support adds yet another layer to the range of support already offered by Aviva.

How is it offered?

Currently Aviva employs three Peer Support Specialists to support women and men on their journey towards a violence-free future. Peer support is founded on mutual understanding, acceptance and trust; and shared knowledge of how to become and remain safe.

There are no assessments or pre-determined outcomes.

Our specialist peer support is accompanied by standards of practice and systems for assuring quality and the safety of both members of the peer relationship.

People may choose to access peer support at any stage of their journey – before working with a Family Support Worker; while working with one; while waiting for a group education programme to begin (they run in line with school terms); after undertaking a programme; at later stages of their journey when other challenges present themselves.

There are a number of ways you can access peer support:

One to One Support

Our Peer Support Specialists can work alongside you at any point in your journey. They can support you to identify your strengths and work on a vision for your future. If you'd like to receive one-on-one support from someone who has survived family violence and come out the other side, you can complete a self-referral form here or contact our peer support team.

Women's Peer Support Group

Our fortnightly Women's Peer Support Group is an opportunity to connect with like-minded people to foster celebration and share your skills and experiences so that together you can make positive change. If you wish to join the group please contact our peer support team.

Purposeful Peer Support Workshop

Aviva's Purposeful Peer Support workshop is an eight week course, designed not only as a great tool for personal self-development, but it also better equips people to use their experience of trauma to support others they may meet in their community on a similar journey. ‘Lived experience’ is a pre-requisite to the training together with other personal qualities. Read more about our upcoming eight week Purposeful Peer Support Workshop here. Interested in joining the workshop?

Download the Specialist Peer Support brochure

Peer Support Forum

Would you like to keep in touch with other peers? We have an online forum available for anyone who is currently accessing Peer Services.  

You can request to join our closed member forum hereor log-in (for existing members) here.