It's OK to help
Being an effective contact person
We offer resources and regular training for contact people. For more information, Cathie Walsh
Staff Equity Manager:
This is a guide for family violence contact people at the University. It includes an outline for providing support and information on receiving disclosures, responding appropriately and maintaining confidentiality.
Campus personal safety planning guide
This provides a step-by-step guide to providing a tailored safety plan for students or staff members affected by family violence, while they are at the University. It also includes a campus personal safety plan checklist.
Being a supportive friend or colleague
When you are supporting a friend or colleague experiencing family violence, remember to:
- Identify risks. If there is imminent danger or if someone has a weapon, call the police on 111. If you see any suspicious behaviour, no matter how minor it appears, call University Security (0800 373 7550).
- Keep confidentiality and be non-judgemental.
- Support, listen and recognise the courage needed to speak out about family violence.
- Recognise boundaries. Most of us aren't counsellors and unless we are a designated contact person, we aren't able to provide access to University support.
Recognise when someone you know is dealing with a difficult situation or is behaving unusually.
- Respond by letting them know you are concerned about them.
- Encourage them to talk to the University contact people who are available to assist and support them.
- Offer to go with them to get support.
- Help them get information on protection orders, emergency accommodation, financial help, or support groups.
- Allow them to make their own choices and decisions in their own time. It is important that someone who is being abused is able to take control of decisions that affect them. Also be aware that leaving an abusive relationship can be a very dangerous time – the violence can escalate. Try to support them until they are strong and safe enough to make difficult decisions.
Being an active bystander
Everyone can take an active role in ending disrespectful behaviour, harassment or family violence. It's OK to get involved, and sometimes just one action or comment can make the difference. There may be an opportunity to ask, "Are you OK?" or "Is there something I can do?" Speak out against jokes or comments that condone violence and – where it is safe – take action if you suspect someone may be hurt.
- Take notice of what is going on around you. If you see problems coming up, try to intervene as early as possible.
- Take responsibility. Decide to be an active bystander. If you are unsure of the right move, ask others to help you work it out.
- Take action. Respect everyone involved and keep your own safety in mind, and make sure you call for help if needed.
- Take violence seriously. If you suspect that someone is being hurt or that there is a weapon on campus, call the police on 111.
University Security Services
Report any suspicious behaviour immediately, no matter how minor it appears, to University Security.
City campus: +64 9 373 7599 ext 85000 or 0800 373 7550
Tāmaki Innovation Campus: +64 9 373 7599 ext 85225
Grafton campus: +64 9 373 7599 ext 86081
Epsom campus: +64 9 373 7599 ext 44835
Read more about University Security Services
Where there is a real or imminent threat, call the police on 111.
Resources for active bystanders
These YouTube clips show why, how and when, you can intervene safely:
If you would like further training in responding to family violence or opportunities to volunteer, contact one of the Expert organisations.
Keeping our University safe and healthy
Sometimes there may be a threat or incident of family or relationship violence on campus that presents a risk to the health, safety and wellbeing of a student, staff member or other members of our University community. If this happens, it should be reported to the local supervisor or manager as soon as possible.
- An incident relating to family violence that occurs on campus may result in security staff submitting an incident report.
- A staff member who is subject to inappropriate behaviour by another person while engaged in University business on campus or elsewhere may be advised to complete an OHS incident report.
- Students are requested to report all potential hazards, incidents or threats to safety to a University staff member.
- Staff members are required to report all potential hazards, such as poor lighting on or between campuses.
Staff members can read more about responding to and reporting incidents and accidents.