WDHB's VIP shirts well received

12 May 2017


From left: WDHB staff members from left to right: Reniti Tapa, Jacqui Broughton, Tracey Cossey and Candice Rosslee.

Whanganui District Health Board’s (WDHB) decision to allow staff to wear shirts featuring a strong anti-family violence message, is paying off, says WDHB family violence coordinator Tracey Cossey.


“We introduced the black and white shirts last year to mark White Ribbon Day, had a good response so sought permission for staff to wear them on Fridays year-round,” Ms Cossey says.


“Six months later, I and some of my fellow staff members, have been pleased to learn that the message is having a profound impact on those we’re trying to reach out to and help.


“We’ve had visitors to the hospital and people in the community tell us that when they read ‘Stand up, speak out about family violence. It’s ok to ask for help’ they found the strength to leave an abusive relationship and seek help.”


“We’ve also had people who haven’t experienced family violence congratulate us for making a stand which is also pleasing to hear.”


Ms Cossey says she applauds the WDHB for getting behind the shirts and saying yes to staff wanting to wear them year-round.


“Family violence is an issue people need to think about every day, and not just on White Ribbon Day. It’s an issue that affects people of all ages and in all corners of our society for whom the consequences can be far-reaching.


“I’m very proud we have staff who want to do all they can to stop family violence and proud we have men and women on our staff getting behind the cause.”


Ms Cossey says organisations who can help and support those affected include:

  • Family Works
  • New Zealand Police
  • Ministry for Vulnerable Children - Oranga Tamariki
  • Tupoho – Iwi and community social services Trust
  • Whanganui Safe & Free
  • Age Concern
  • Jigsaw
  • Te Oranganui
  • RISE Stopping Violence programme
  • Women’s Refuge.


Whanganui DHB is a member of the Violence Intervention Network (VIN) which includes 42 membership agencies who meet monthly to discuss the work being undertaken in Whanganui to reduce family violence.