September 2017 e news - 4 September 2017


Family violence -  it's not ok! September 2017


Cambridge Campaign Launches/ Waitomo Champions Campaign/ SwitchedOn Christchurch/ ACC Staff Champions/New Zealand’s Aluminium Smelters Champions/Resources for Business/Updated Statistics

Cambridge Champion Campaign Launches

Cambridge champions

The Cambridge It’s not OK campaign launched at the end of June with an evening of speakers and the opportunity to meet 41 newly-trained champions.

Nearly 200 locals turned out on a cold wet night to meet the champions and hear sexual violence campaigner Louise Nicholas and Te Puke champions Sue and Roger Wilks. Louise spoke about a critical moment in her past when a teacher asked her if she was OK and she felt able to disclose what was happening to her.

Sue and Roger spoke about their experiences of being It’s not OK champions over the last year, particularly within their church congregation.

At least one Cambridge champion has been approached for help already.

Waipa District Mayor Jim Mylchreest attended the launch and said “It was a real privilege to see the level of community support in Cambridge to fight family violence and to reinforce the message that it’s OK to ask for help.”

Read more about our champions project here

Waitomo Champions Campaign

Amy Watkins

More than 30 Waitomo residents are being trained as champions. The Maniapoto Family Violence Intervention Network (MFVIN) set up a working group of network members and Waitomo residents in July. Almost 100 residents were nominated as champions, with 36 accepting the role.

Amy Watkins is proud to spread the message that “family violence is not OK, but it is OK to ask for help”.

Amy works at The Warehouse in Te Kuiti and says she often sees the affects of family violence on customers. “It’s plain to see that family violence is everywhere. I see women come in with bruised up faces and kids that look underprivileged – so if I can make a difference, even if it’s just for one person I’ll be happy. But to make a real difference it’s going to take the whole community to get on board and support the campaign.”

MFVIN has also coordinated a successful Otorohanga champions project since 2015 with 22 champions. That project has influenced interest from surrounding districts in starting their own campaigns.

SwitchedOn Christchurch

It’s not OK violence free speaker Jeremy Eparaima spoke to staff at Christchurch building and renovations company SwitchedOn in June, as part of toolbox sessions provided for staff.

Staff feedback included:

  • Thank you for bringing Jeremy down to talk to us.  His talk was very thought- provoking and made me think about how I react around others
  • Wow that was amazing
  • That was a sobering experience.

Workplace support was offered to those who had experiences of family and or sexual abuse.

HR Manager Gayle Daniels said “One staff member came to us and explained that he had been through a similar situation and offered to be a confidential confidant for other staff members.”

Ms Daniels and Chief Executive Chris Hughes encourage other employers to bring in It’s not OK speakers and make it OK to talk about family violence in the workplace.

ACC Staff Champions

A total of 80 staff at ACC have become It’s not OK champions across New Zealand.  They are trained as ‘go to’ people for colleagues who are affected by violence at home.

ACC is the largest organisation to take the It’s not OK champions model into the workplace.  The model has been used successfully in geographic and sports communities over the last five years.

As well as responding to requests for help from individuals, the champions are involved in activities to promote understanding of family violence and give visibility to it in ACC sites.

A survey of the champions showed that 65% had helped someone; they reported being more aware of others’ situations, being more open and non-judgemental and having conversations about family violence with friends, family and colleagues.

Training is being arranged for 20 more champions.

New Zealand’s Aluminium Smelters Tiwai Point - Champions

Tiwai Point Champions

New Zealand’s Aluminium Smelters (NZAS) Chief Executive, Gretta Stephens, is already a Family Violence Champion through the Southland It’s not OK champions project, and another 30 smelter employees will undertake Champion training in September/October. 

"NZAS is very proud to support such an important community initiative."

"Given that around half a million people in New Zealand are affected by domestic violence every year, we know that the lives of some of the 800 people who walk through the gates of NZAS will also be touched by abuse." 

"NZAS is committed to keeping our people safe and we want our people to be safe at home too.  We also want to empower our people to help others in the community feel secure at home with their loved ones." 

Resources for businesses

More and more businesses are developing policies to support staff and clients affected by family violence, and organising training to encourage peer and more formal support.

Our website has information specifically for businesses at

Training is offered by agencies including women’s refuge and Shine. The It’s not OK campaign can help with information about “How to Help” and “Champions” projects. Email the team at

Updated statistics

Updated statistics

We have updated our statistics page on the website

The It's not OK Campaign supported the booklet called Growing up Takatāpui: Whānau journeys, which was produced by Tiwhanawhana Trust and RainbowYOUTH.

Interviews with seven takatāpui rangatahi and their whānau inform this resource about the importance of whānau support in a takatāpui young person's life.

Dr Elizabeth Kerekere wrote the booklet and also features in the It's not OK television advertisements.

Order or download the booklet.

For further information contact:


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