The Backbone Collective

Organisation page created in the Issues category

Supporting women who have experienced violence and abuse in NZ to have their say.

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  Auckland Social Enterprise Advocacy Equality

There are tens of thousands of Violence Against Women survivors in New Zealand. If we were all in one place at the same time our voices would be deafening. But because these forms of violence and abuse serve to silence their victims, and because survivors are not connected in any way, we are largely invisible and our voices are not heard.

We believe that the system and those that work within it should consult the women who use those services and find out how they can respond to keep women safe and help them rebuild their lives. We are building the technical platform to undertake this task. This is a unique approach that we think can make all the difference.

More about us

The Backbone Collective is a Violence Against Women initiative established in 2017. We are a national collective for women who have experienced violence and abuse. Our aim is to gather women’s voices en mass about what is and isn’t working in the system that responds to them, and share those voices in a generalised and anonymous way to try and create the system change that is so desperately required.

We are a Charitable Trust currently staffed by volunteers.

Use of funds

The funds we raise will be used to support the operation of The Backbone Collective. We are currently run by volunteers. Funds will help us recruit more women members, run more surveys, complete reports of the survey findings, prepare reports about how the system is doing, create resources for women to help them get through the system better, undertake media work and help build a complaints guide. We need to buy office supplies, wifi, dropbox, insurance, printing and promotional material.

Latest update

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A very busy first year for Backbone  18 January 2018

Posted by: The Backbone Collective

The first nine months have been challenging, inspiring, and really hard work. Twelve months ago we were planning Backbone and wondering if women would join, would find this helpful, would people support our work etc. We have found that the sense of community of solidarity, of shared pain and shared struggles has been awe inspiring - we have started a movement.. We are committed to continuing to do this work. We hope that in 2018 we can grow the membership and supporter base even bigger and that we can get those in a position of authority to see how desperately things need to change.

Here is our activity over the last 12 months (Whew - when you see it all written down...)

Pre launch

Establishing a Board

Becoming a Charitable Trust

Making a Web site and Facebook page

Initial survey to women about Backbone concept

Creating our founding principles/processes,

Getting a Backbone logo

Creating registration survey for members and supporters


Media releases/interviews

Communications with agencies and Government


Initial startup survey

Family Court survey

Complaints survey (smaller group)

Impact on Children survey

Watchdog reports

Family Court Watchdog – All Eyes on the Family Court

Complaints and Appeals Landscape 'Don’t Tell Your Problems'

Survey reports

Family Court Survey Report - Out of the Frying Pan into the Fire

Impact on Children Report – Seen and Not Heard Part One – Force


RNZ – Wallace Chapman and news reports

NZ Herald


Radio Live

Newshub Am show

The Project

TV one

Women’s Weekly – postcard project



Social media

Followers from 0 - over 2000

supporters from 0 - 200

Regular FB posts – articles, news items , commentary etc

Meme project – Women’s Voices matter

Meme project – Children’s Voices matter

Blog posts

Videos updates


Postcard project with LW Photography– 7000 postcards sent out and sent to those in authority calling for Royal Commission

Supporting Community in Action Group with petition

Submission on Family and Whanau Violence Bill

Lobbying Justice Select Committee to hold select Committee

Meeting with Jan Logie x 2

Meeting with Jacinda Adrern x 1

UN approach – letters to PM and ministers raising the seriousness of the issue

Letters to new PM and MPS

Protest outside Auckland Family Court in September

Continuous improvement

Meeting with Psych Board - more on that in 2018

Briefing report to incoming Govt

Communications with members

Membership from 0 to 1141

Hundreds of emails and messages with members

Connecting women into local groups

Sharing information and resources with members

Backbone posters created, printed and shared

19 Newsletters sent to members collectively

View and comment

Latest donations

  • Thane

    Thane on 21 Aug 2018


    In support of The Backbone Collective's call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the New Zealand Family Court


  • Guest Donor

    Guest Donor on 20 Mar 2018



  • The Lady Corp

    The Lady Corp on 14 Mar 2018


    With love <3


  • Concerned Dad

    Concerned Dad on 18 Jan 2018


    Thank you for all the wonderful support, courage and hope the Collective gives to my daughter who was in an abusive relationship and now trying to rebuild a life for her and young daughters and overcome the huge challenges in the Family Court system. Unbelievable how much power abusers have over their victims and ironically our broken family court system enables them.


  • Ash Parris

    Ash Parris on 17 Jan 2018


    For G & B x


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