A Papamoa woman who facilitates family violence workshops across New Zealand for the Ministry of Social Development, New Zealand Police, district health boards and other organisations has been recognised for her work in this year’s Queen Birthday Honours List.
Jude Simpson has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the prevention of domestic violence.
When she found out about the award, she was so surprised she initially thought they’d contacted the wrong person.
“It’s a little overwhelming, you don’t ever do this thinking you need to be ‘acknowledged’ for it – you do it because you care and you’re passionate about it.”
She is currently the lead family harm facilitator at the Royal New Zealand Police College, where she educates new recruits on aspects of domestic violence.
“I had to design and develop a curriculum that is really all about empathy and explains what family harm is,” she says.
“We had recruits coming through the college who had experienced wonderful lives without domestic violence, so they didn’t know much about it. We teach them what family harm is – the different dynamics, tactics, the non-physical forms of family harm and its effects on children and adults, why people stay.”
In 2005 she also published a book – ‘Lost and Found: A Woman’s Living Proof’ – which outlined her personal experiences with abuse.
“It was about letting people know that no matter where you’ve been, you can turn a life around, and giving some hope to those still going through it.”
Jude, who has lived in Tauranga for 20 years after growing up in Taranaki, believes the good work being done by many people and organisations towards ending domestic violence is paying off.
“I believe the tide is turning. From what I see, everyone is trying very hard. The attitude of the New Zealand Police and their commitment to this is outstanding. It’s incredibly heart-warming to see them approaching this issue the way they are.”