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About DVFREE

DVFREE
DVFREE has supported hundreds of employers – businesses, government agencies, crown entities and not-for-profits of all sizes – to create policy, train key staff, and raise awareness for all employees.

DVFREE partners are helping to create a culture shift so that people who hear about or see domestic violence are equipped to offer appropriate support.  It’s also about making it easier and safer for people experiencing domestic violence to access support. Ultimately, we hope to see fewer people perpetrating domestic violence.

DVFREE™ is provided by Shine (Safer Homes in New Zealand Everyday). Shine created DVFREE in 2001 to improve workplace responses to domestic violence after years of hearing good and bad stories from clients about how an employer either supported, or undermined their safety and wellbeing.

In 2017, Shine created the DVFREE Tick accreditation programme to partner with employers who implement a best practice workplace response.

DVFREE also supports organisations to improve their response to customers who are experiencing domestic violence.

Please contact us today to find out more about how we can help your workplace improve its response to employees, or customers, experiencing domestic violence.

Our DVFREE team

Margaret Fitzgibbon

Shine Education and Training Manager

Margaret Fitzgibbon has been with Shine since June 2019. She has over 20 years of experience working in not-for-profit organisations as a trainer and coach for adult learners. Her various roles have involved the building of capacity of families; programme management and community development, and community consultation and integration. Throughout these roles she has worked directly with families experiencing domestic violence, and has recognised that education is a vital part of a multi-faceted community approach to create violence-free communities. Previously, Margaret worked for HIPPY (Home Interaction Programme for Parents and Youngsters) for 17 years, most recently as a Manager for Great Potentials Foundation/HIPPY NZ, training, supporting and advising 41 HIPPY Site Coordinators throughout New Zealand. During this time, she developed a comprehensive training package for HIPPY NZ and completed a Graduate Diploma in Higher Education.

Mira Taitz

DVFREE Lead and Senior Trainer

Mira Taitz has been a senior trainer for DVFREE and Shine since August 2021. She is an experienced community worker and adult educator.  Prior to joining Shine, she was chairperson of Te Wāhi Wāhine o Tamaki Mākaurau, Auckland Women’s Centre, which has had a close association with Shine for many years. She was chairperson for four years and previously served on their board for three years.  She also worked as a community educator for YouthLaw Aotearoa for four years, where she led a community outreach and training programme on human rights. She developed bicultural practice and commitment at Morningside Playcentre. She has worked as a tutor at the Department of Anthropology at the University of Auckland; conducted social science research to improve people’s experiences in the justice system at universities in Sydney; and worked as an ESL English teacher.  Mira has a Masters in Economic Anthropology.

Dr Rachel Kain

Senior Educator and Family Violence Advisor

Rachel Kain is a Senior Educator and Family Violence Advisor, Shine RESPOND and VIP, working in professional, community, and health training. Prior to this she worked with Shine to provide advocacy to patients and whānau experiencing family violence at Auckland City Hospital. In this role Rachel also did extensive work with hospital staff, training and supporting them to provide an effective response to family violence within the hospital setting. Rachel has worked in a frontline capacity with people experiencing family violence in the community and in a previous role delivered the Ministry of Justice approved Adult Safety Programme. Rachel spent time in Duluth with the Domestic Abuse Intervention Programme and was involved with the Palmerston North Women’s Refuge, both as a volunteer and a member of the Board of Governors. Previously, Rachel worked in education for five years in New Zealand and Australia. Rachel has a Master’s Degree in Social and Community Leadership.

Holly Carrington

 Senior Advisor and Trainer

Holly is a Senior DVFREE Advisor and Trainer, based in Wellington. After moving to New Zealand from her native California in 1999, she volunteered for Shine’s Helpline in 2000 and began working for Shine in 2001. Her roles have included some frontline work with people experiencing family violence and with men using violence in the No Excuses programme, but she has mostly worked in management and leadership roles, including as Shine’s media spokesperson and policy advisor.  Holly has written, trained and presented on family violence for a wide range of audiences, including speaking at conferences and symposia, and written articles relating to family violence and the workplace. She was involved with the DVFREE pilot from 2001, its refresh in 2016 and the development of the DVFREE Tick programme launched in 2017. Holly was a Westpac Women of Influence Community Hero Award finalist in 2020 for her work on DVFREE. She worked as a Family Violence Principal Advisor at the Ministry of Justice from 2022-2023 and returned to work for Shine in January 2024.

Claire Southward

DVFREE Senior trainer

Claire Southward is a DVFREE senior trainer based in Wellington since March 2022. She has also worked part-time as a Violence Intervention Programme (VIP) Coordinator for the then Hutt Valley District Health Board (DHB).  Her role included training and supporting health professionals to recognise and respond to intimate partner violence and child abuse and neglect. Claire is a registered social worker and has worked across a range of acute hospital wards for the last 17 years. During this time, she has supported many women who have experienced violence from a partner and, together with other agencies, enabled them to find out more about their options and plan towards increasing their safety.  Claire has a Masters Applied degree in Social Work (2001) and a Postgraduate Certificate in Health Sciences (Violence Prevention, 2020).

The DVFREE Tick has been awarded to these employers, with more on the way.

Want to learn more?

Your organisation can also do the best for your people experiencing domestic violence by training first responders and managers, and updating your domestic violence policy. Click below to get your free guidelines to creating a DVFREE workplace, or get in touch directly and a DVFREE team member will be able to assist.

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