Countdown brings in site protecting domestic violence victims

  • 02/08/2017
Countdown brings in site protecting domestic violence victims
Photo credit: Getty

Countdown supermarket has become the latest company in New Zealand to bring in a "Shielded Site", helping domestic violence victims.

Shielded websites were created by agency Saatchi & Saatchi last year, for the Women's Refuge. They are designed so people can browse a regular site, then click a button that takes them to domestic violence helplines and sites. The browser history is hidden, so it's a way for victims to be able to get help without alerting their abusers.

Women's Refuge chief executive Dr Ang Jury says Countdown adding the option is "hugely significant" for the initiative.

"When we launched, our ambition was to have the Shielded Site available everywhere, and importantly in the places people would visit in the course of a typical day.

"With Countdown being one of New Zealand's most visited sites we're now able to safely connect with thousands more people who could potentially need our support."

Countdown is New Zealand's largest online retailer, which is why head of online Sally Copland says it is bringing in the shielded site option.

"Given our reach, we have enabled our website to be a safe platform for victims of family violence to access support without the risk of their abusers knowing."

The Women's Refuge says one in three Kiwi women are abused at some stage in their lives, with New Zealand suffering the worst family violence rates in the developed world.

The shielded site displays as a small icon on a site's page, which, when clicked, takes them to a small window detailing contact and safety information. It doesn't appear in the computer's browser history.