Family and Relationship Violence and Abuse Prevention and Management Guidelines


All members of the University community.


To contribute to the prevention of family violence on campus and to provide a framework to support members who experience the effects of family violence.

These guidelines further explain how members can access the support the University provides under its Family and Relationship Violence and Abuse Policy.


The University is committed to being a safe, inclusive and equitable place to work and study. Part of this commitment is to contribute to the prevention of family and relationship violence and abuse on campus and to provide a framework to support members who experience the effects of family violence.

The New Zealand Domestic Violence Act 1995 legally protects anyone in a domestic relationship from violence. This can include those who live in University apartments, hostels and halls of residence.

For the purposes of the Family Violence Policy and these guidelines, the term family violence will be used when describing domestic and relationship violence.

The University affirms that family violence is unacceptable and that every person is entitled to respect and to live free from fear and abuse.

The University recognises that family violence can affect every sector of the community, including the University and its members and that family violence may impact on the work/study performance, effectiveness or safety of a member.


  • University support
  • Confidentiality and respect
  • Receiving disclosures
  • Support for staff
  • Support for Students
  • Further support
  • Safety planning
  • Referral


If you are in immediate danger, call the Police on 111 or the 24-hour Security Emergency Line on 0800 373 7550.

All risks and threats of violence on campus should be reported to the local supervisor or manager as soon as possible

Staff members who have experienced family violence and abuse from an external source may contact the Staff Service Centre on ext. 86000 or on 09 923 6000. The call will be directed to nominated staff with specialist training who will provide options for immediate support and link the affected staff member with the Staff Risk Intervention Team (SRIT).

Note: SRIT comprises representatives from Human Resources, Information Technology Services, Security, Equity Office, Risk Office and the Staff Service Centre. The SRIT will support the affected staff member and connect them to relevant resources.

University support

  • University provisions for members affected by family violence (whether directly or indirectly) are aimed at providing appropriate, timely and sensitive support
  • Members who are experiencing the effects of family violence, may request reasonable consideration of flexible work/study arrangements, leave, safety planning, or other appropriate considerations for a number of reasons including but not limited to:
    • attending medical appointments and counselling
    • attending legal proceedings
    • seeking safe housing
    • visiting legal advisors or support agencies for re-housing or re-organising childcare, or for other relevant appointments
    • other matters as a result of family violence

Confidentiality and respect

  • All efforts will be made to protect members from any discrimination that is due to their disclosure or experience of family violence and that they will not be subject to disadvantage for being a victim of family violence.
  • Information will be disclosed only to those people who the University believes need to know about the disclosure or where a disclosure indicates that the person making the disclosure or others may be at serious risk. In these circumstances, the person experiencing violence or abuse will be advised of the action taking and reasons for those actions Privacy Act 1993.

Receiving disclosures

Disclosing family violence may be difficult and distressing for the person affected. They are also vulnerable. It is important therefore that it is managed sensitively and appropriately. See website resources Responding Effectively for some strategies to assist.

Members affected by family violence who wish to access the University’s support as outlined in the policy and guidelines, should contact an appropriate person as detailed below who can assist in developing a safety plan, accessing compassionate considerations, flexible work/study arrangements or any other practical arrangements.

While staff members may be able to advise and assist, under normal circumstances they are not able to act on behalf of or act as an advocate for a staff member or student.

All designated staff members are advised to attend the relevant training offered to appropriately support staff and students.

Where they feel they are unable to assist a person who has disclosed they should sensitively and confidentially refer to an appropriate person or organisation. See the website for external expert agencies.

All staff members should be aware of those staff members who are responsible for implementing University support structures and of responding appropriately to disclosures of family violence.

University support available for staff members

Staff members can request flexible work arrangements in order to deal with family violence matters, such as changes to location or duties, changes to start and finish hours, time off, breaks etc.

Requests will be responded to urgently.

These requests are in addition to existing rights for flexible working arrangements.

Variation of working arrangements and period of time will be documented.

Staff members can request up to 10 days of paid domestic violence leave per year.

This leave does not accumulate and carry over to the next year.

Staff can also use their sick leave or annual leave or request leave for compassionate reasons.

Staff members – who to contact

  • In most instances, a staff member who wishes to access the University’s support for themselves, as outlined in the policy and related guidelines, is encouraged to approach their line manager directly, as the manager will usually need to be involved in any practical arrangements to support the staff member. They may also wish to take a support person with them
  • Where a staff member does not feel able to approach their manager in the first instance, the staff member may contact other appropriate staff such as:
    • A senior manager or academic head
    • HR Manager or HR Advisor
    • Director Staff Equity
    • Manager Staff Equity
  • For general information and support, staff members may also contact Shine, EAP (for counselling), their union representative or a trusted colleague, or read the University’s resources Family Violence : It's Not OK.

University support available for students

Flexible attendance arrangements to attend classes and other University requirements. Arrangements may need to be made with course coordinators for access to course materials if the student is unable to attend classes and to attend different classes than the perpetrator.

Consideration of exceptional circumstances if study or performance has been affected by family violence may include the following:

  • flexible class attendance
  • attendance at different class to perpetrator
  • course work requirements including deadlines and extensions
  • compassionate consideration of the impact on written tests and examinations
  • late deletions

Students – who to contact

To request consideration of exceptional circumstances for the above, students are to speak to their Course Coordinator, the Student Service Centre, academic head, or to the Examinations Office as soon as possible.

The most appropriate people who can assist a student access support available at the University include; the University Health and Counselling Service, the Proctor, the Director of Student Equity, an appropriate academic manager, or a Residential Manager for University accommodations.

  • The University Health and Counselling Service (UHCS) will see someone immediately in emergency situations such as ‘a recent rape, assault or harassment’ or ‘a witness to a traumatic event’
  • UHCS can provide brief solution focused support rather than long term counselling and can assist and support students arrange additional or further support should they need more than UHCS can offer
  • The Proctor can provide advice about what support is available and assist with disputes involving students

The student may also contact other people for general information and support such as:

  • Manager Student Disability Services
  • Faculty student support advisors
  • Student Academic and Engagement Managers
  • Resident Manager or Resident Assistant

AUSA support and information contacts who are independent from the University include:

  • AUSA Student Support provides confidential independent advocacy
  • Women’s Rights Officers
  • Queer Rights Officer (support and advocacy for students who identify as LGBTIQTakatāpui+)
  • Welfare Vice President

Further support

Persons affected should be advised of available legal protection and their option to make a complaint to the police.

Expert external organisations can provide support, information, safety planning at home, places of refuge, advocacy, advice on protection orders and other legal options (see related webpage resources for external expert agencies).

Some of these organisations specialise with particular groups such as: Māori, people who identify as LGBTIQTakatāpui+ and people from Asian, migrant or refugee backgrounds etc.

Perpetrators of family violence are encouraged to and will be supported in seeking assistance to stop using violence.

Safety planning

A safety plan may be recommended if the reported perpetrator seeks to contact the person affected or other University members or attend University premises.

This could involve an assessment of physical campus security, communications, and plans to respond to emergencies. It may need to be developed in consultation with the University Security Service, IT and/or Early Childhood Education Centres. Such consultation should always take place with the clear permission and full knowledge of the staff member or student involved. See Safety Planning website resources.


Where additional or more expert support is required, it may be appropriate to refer the person experiencing family violence to other relevant internal or external people or agencies. See external expert agencies).

Help for advice, information or immediate assistance on sexual violence is available 24/7 from HELP Auckland.

Shine for confidential information for anyone experiencing family violence 0508 744 633 (9am-11pm everyday).


The following definitions apply to this document:

Domestic relationships include: married couples; unmarried couples; gay, lesbian and gender diverse couples; children; family; anyone in a close relationship; flatmates or others who ordinarily share a household or people who live in University accommodation.

Family violence refers to domestic and relationship violence.

Note- Family or domestic violence is an abuse of power. Without intervention, it can increase over time becoming more serious and more frequent.

Family or domestic violence has many forms. It includes:

  • intimidation, control and isolation
  • physical abuse – hitting, punching, slapping, pushing, choking, punching, kicking, burning, stabbing, shooting, and threats to do harm
  • psychological abuse – threats (to harm, to commit suicide, to report to authorities), harassment, stalking, jealous possessiveness, put-downs, isolation from friends and family, intimidation, verbal abuse, mind-games, humiliation, manipulating children
  • sexual abuse – rape, coerced sex, unwanted sexual activity, forced pregnancy or abortions, forced involvement in prostitution or pornography
  • financial abuse – abuser makes all the financial decisions, does not allow victims to buy basic needs, makes victims account for every cent, steals their money, runs up debts in their name, forces them to work, or does not allow them to work when they want to
  • spiritual abuse – abuser does not allow victim the freedom to follow their own faith or beliefs

Family violence happens within all age, religious and ethnic groups and across all socio-economic groups. The occurrence of family violence is not dependent on gender, sexual orientation or gender identity but the majority of victims of such violence are women and the majority of perpetrators are men.

Members refers to members of the University community.

Safety Plan - a family violence safety plan enhances general strategies for being safe at the University and may target specific risk factors associated with the family violence being experienced by the person affected. See the resources for how to develop a Safety Plan: Safety Planning website resources.

University community includes all staff and students, honorary appointees, contractors and visitors.

Key relevant documents

Document management and control

Owner: Pro-Vice-Chancellor Equity
Content manger: Staff Equity Manager
Approved by: The Vice-Chancellor
Original date issued: 25 November 2015
Date approved: 17 February 2020
Review date: February 2023