Backbone: New website for abuse survivors targets the system

The founders of Backbone (from left to right) Tania Domett, Ruth Herbert, Deborah Mackenzie (Supplied)
The founders of Backbone (from left to right) Tania Domett, Ruth Herbert, Deborah Mackenzie (Supplied)

An online forum is providing a new means of help for abuse survivors, who are struggling with the system. 

Deborah Mackenzie, Tania Domett and Ruth Herbert are the co-founders of Backbone - a national collective that aims to help identify the gaps in helping women escape violence and abuse.

Ms Mackenzie told Newshub the site acts as "a conduit for women to have their say" in a system where they can slide through the gaps.

"At the moment there is no way for women to tell agencies and social services about what it is they need and women's voices are often silenced and minimised," she said.

The site provides surveys for survivors to give feedback on their experience reporting domestic abuse and dealing with the governmental agencies involved. 

"Our mission is to make sure [women] who experience violence and abuse in New Zealand have the opportunity to say how they need the system to respond to them," Ms Mackenzie said.

It allows both access and anonymity, in what can be a scary space to navigate. 

"It's very difficult for women to speak out because it puts them in danger - not only from the person that abused them, but also from the system." 

The Backbone supplies information to women about the different resources available, but will mainly focus on "watchdogging the system", making sure agencies are following through with promises and necessary changes are being made.

Ms Mackenzie said they "don't believe the Government has been doing enough about domestic abuse" and they're hoping to change that. 

Visit their website for more information.