Annual Reports Newsletters Research Projects

Aviva Sexual Violence Youth Service Project

In March 2020, Aviva's Sexual Assault Support Service Canterbury (SASSC) team received funding from the Vodafone Foundation to commission two pieces of work to better understand and respond to the needs of youth who have experienced sexual assault. These were completed in November 2021. This included an academic research project including a literature review and primary research to establish what constitutes international best practice, and a co-design project to engage Aviva staff and clients to capture and better understand the present and past experiences of youth engaged in sexual harm support services. The latter being aspirational in nature in terms of what a future service specifically catering to youth could look like.

Read Aviva's condensed report, "Doing Better by Our Rangatahi."

Read the full academic research report.

Read the full co-design report.


Aviva Youth Service Evaluation

In October 2016, with support from the Wayne Francis Charitable Trust, the Aviva Youth Service began supporting people aged 12-25 who had experienced and/or used family violence. The service aimed to increase safety, build self-esteem, improve mental health and, ultimately, break the intergenerational cycle of violence. After delivering the service to 113 young Cantabrians over two years, we are pleased to share how the service has built hope, a sense of identity and brighter futures for young people in our community.

Read the Aviva Youth Service Evaluation Report.


Aviva Peer Support Evaluation

In July 2016 tertiary students Holly Richardson and Lara Moses undertook an evaluation of Aviva's Purposeful Peer Support, four years into its operation.

Read the findings here.


Sexual Assault Support Service Canterbury (SASSC) 

Aviva, in partnership with START, has been operating the SASSC service since July 2014. This research project - Sexual Assault Support Service Canterbury - Research to Inform Service Design - was undertaken to inform the optimal model for development, growth and adaptation of this service for those who have acute and/or historic experiences of sexual violence.  

Read report.



ReachOut was first launched in April 2012 as a new response to men who had used violence or abusive tactics against those closest to them. The service was developed using Police Incident Reports of family violence as a key pathway through which to reach out to men and offer support to change.

Read the evaluation for the first 18 months of service development.


Men's Accommodation

Please click here for 'Models of Alternative Accommodation Support for Men Using Family Violence'.


Women Moving Away from Violence

The research project 'Women Moving Away From Violence - Planning It, Doing It' explores the factors which contribute to women’s decisions to walk away from the violence within their relationships. 

The research explores what is known about the context of violence and abuse as experienced by women and determines what it is that contributes to the development of their skills and strategies as they seek healthy outcomes for themselves and their children. The research will be useful to inform policy makers and to develop guidelines for service providers and practitioners that will enable a more appropriate and effective response to women’s experience of family violence.

Aviva (formerly Christchurch Women’s Refuge) and Family Help Trust worked with Te Awatea Violence Research Centre on this project. Our thanks to the women who volunteered their stories so that others could learn from their experience. The interviews were carried out by Yvonne Crighton-Hill, a lecturer in the Department of Social Work at The University of Canterbury. The research project was funded by the Department of Internal Affairs (Lotteries Commission).

Read the final report.


Specialist Peer Support

Read the report on our research with women and men who have overcome family violence and their views on developing a specialist peer support service.

Specialist Peer Support: Reframing The Journey From Lived Experience of Domestic Violence - Results from research conducted 2011-2012 by Dr Lesley Campbell, University of Canterbury, on behalf of Aviva - April 2012.

Read also the article published in The Journal of Te Awatea Violence Research Centre in 2012; 'Peer Support: Reframing the Journey from Lived Experience of Domestic Violence' (Dr Lesley Campbell and Claire Gray with Beryl Brogden (Aviva Social Inclusion Manager)