A National Collective for Survivors of Violence Against Women
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About

The Backbone Collective is the only entity in New Zealand and possibly world, that gives women who have experienced any type of violence or abuse, a voice.  We want to hear from as many women as possible to make sure we continue building something that makes a real difference to women's and children's lives.

 

ABOUT us

 
 
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RUTH HERBERT

I can’t change the system alone - I can’t even change it working with a small group of other committed women – we can only change the system if we join our voices together to make one very loud chorus. By working together we can turn things around for our daughters and granddaughters.
— RUTH HERBERT

I have spoken out for a long time about how the response system needs to listen to the voices of survivors of Violence Against Women if it wants to make a difference.  

I am a survivor of domestic and sexual violence and I receive regular contact from other survivors who have trusted me with their stories and experience of the system - and in particular their struggles with the system.  I remain passionate about ensuring women's voices are heard.  Technology has arrived at a place that allows us to connect safely in a virtual way.  The time is right for The Backbone Collective.

I have an equally passionate group of women who will be helping to design, build and put the Collective into operation.  We have no funding for this endeavour and we are volunteering our time and skills to build The Backbone Collective.  We will share more information about The Backbone Collective once we have a better idea of what survivors want. 

In the coming year we will be encouraging New Zealanders who want to help us to improve the Violence Against women system to join The Backbone Collective and contribute their skills or resources to assist in the Collective's work. 

 
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DEBORAH MACKENZIE

I am passionate about improving the experience of survivors of Violence Against Women in New Zealand.  I have been trying to help women's voices be heard by the system for a long time. I'm so excited to be part of creating a way for our voices to finally be heard. 

I have worked directly with women survivors in various roles at the Courts and in NGO's.  For the last 12 years, I've undertaken more behind-the-scenes roles at NGO agencies, in Government, and as an independent contractor - trying to improve the response to women survivors. I believe that women's voices should be at the center of the design and development of an integrated system that responds appropriately and safely to them.

 
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LAURA TULLOCH

New Zealand was the first country to give women the vote. Today it has the world's worst rates of violence against women. What has happened to drag women's status and voices from such a high to such a new low? And how do we fix it? 

I am a Facebook Advertising Manager with extensive experience working in Digital Marketing, with a background in Communications working in large global organisations.

I joined Backbone in early 2017 to help find out what is behind New Zealand's dire domestic violence statistics, and to support The Backbone Collective Charitable Trust, founders and women who have joined as survivors of violence.

I bring with me a strong sense of justice, and an awareness that my own privilege compels me to help others who are not so fortunate.  I have skills and experience in management, communications strategy, journalism, internal communications, PR and digital marketing.