Currently New Zealand's Police attend up to 500  family harm incidents every day. Children are present at 75% of these reported incidents.

Te Mana ō tātou Tamariki - Kōrero Pono - The power of our children - Speaking truth

While each experience of family harm is unique, responding effectively to it is a multi faceted process. Therefore our work is based within the circle of relationships that involve teachers and students of Years 5-8  in schools and the families of the students. We engage with Tangata Whenua and the social services which support the schools including Police, Health, Counselling, Oranga Tamaraiki as well as other local agencies. The complexity of issues brought up in preventing violence requires complex responses, which means schools need the fullest community support possible when teachers commit to facilitating the Jade Speaks Up programme in their classrooms.

Read about our work in an Otago Community.

We would love to hear your feedback and experiences with using this resource.

Join the Jade Speaks up! Community

Please feel free to keep up with us on our Jade Speaks Up Facebook where you might be find interesting resources and give us a “Like”.

Thank you for coming on this journey with us.

Elaine Dyer and Andrea O’Hagan, Co-creators,  Jade Speaks Up

4 months ago

Jade Speaks Up
Trauma and trauma can still be reactivated in our lives in unexpected ways..some interesting points here. It is not licence to hurt others however, meet it as a strong prompt to seek help. We are working with a new resource on anxiety for children 9-12 years of age as we are committed to supporting the development of deep listening and observation of signals of distress as well as self care strategies. It's important work we can ALL get better at doing...The following was written by Dr. Melissa DeBose Hankins, a psychiatrist, and she gave me permission to share it:This is what the result of unresolved trauma looks like.What many of us witnessed during last night’s Academy Award ceremony between Will Smith and Chris Rock was a TRAUMA RESPONSE. While I am in no way condoning violence, I think this is a very public and very important opportunity for us to all understand what a trauma response can look like.A trauma response can take many forms (some surprising) and look like:Slapping someone for saying “the wrong” thingYelling at someone for not doing something “fast enough” or “up to your standards”Avoiding or not responding to a boss’s emails about scheduling an upcoming performance review“Having to” do everything “perfectly,” otherwise you feel anxious or unsettled in some wayYelling at staff or throwing things around your office or OR when you feel frustrated or have a bad outcome at workNot setting boundaries around your time and energy because you’re worried about confrontation and upsetting the other person Working endless hours without taking time for yourself or the things and people you enjoy because your job is your primary source and measure of your own self-worth and value When a person has experienced trauma (“Big T” trauma or “Little t”trauma) from their childhood (or, their adulthood), the brain and body store that traumatic memory in ways such that aspects of that memory can be re-activated by present-day interactions and situations. When this happens, the person experiencing this re-activation is split-second processing (on a subconscious or unconscious level) the current event through the filter of that past trauma. This means that that person is, for all meaningful purposes, experiencing things as if they are right back in that previous circumstance of trauma. As a result, they are reacting (taking action)—emotionally, physically, and/or verbally—from that place of trauma.Those past traumas can be diverse and range from:Witnessing a parent being physically or verbally abused during your childhoodYou, yourself, experiencing physical, sexual, or verbal abuse in your childhood or adulthoodExperiencing emotional abuse or neglect as a child Being harshly reprimanded (this could include being spoken to by someones with an angry tone and demeanor) or shamed by others as a child for not doing a task “the right way” or not doing it “well enough”Being told (and, perhaps, punished) as a child by an adult caregiver that it’s not polite and/or not acceptable to say “No” when an adult tells you to do something (including getting hugs from relatives, being made to attend events with your parents even when it’s clear your parents really didn’t want to go)Being called out by a teacher in front of the class for having the wrong answer and feeling embarrassment and shameWhile some of the above may be horrific, and other things may seem inconsequential, depending on the age of occurrence, the emotional, mental, and physical resources that person had at that age, as well as any prior traumas could determine the extent to which that person experienced trauma. A 2 year-old accidentally wandering into a closet with a door that shuts behind them that they can’t easily open, plunging them alone in darkness for 15 minutes before someone finds them is a far different experience than that of an adult in the same predicament.In the case of Will Smith, he detailed in his autobiographical book, “Will,” that he witnessed trauma as a child in the form of violence at home. In his book he writes:“When I was nine years old, I watched my father punch my mother in the side of the head so hard that she collapsed,” he wrote. “I saw her spit blood. That moment in that bedroom, probably more than any other moment in my life, has defined who I am.”“Within everything that I have done since then — the awards and accolades, the spotlights and attention, the characters and the laughs — there has been a subtle string of apologies to my mother for my inaction that day. For failing her in the moment. For failing to stand up to my father. For being a coward.”So, while the “joke” Chris Rock said was about Will’s wife, the fact that she was being targeted in combination with the look on her face (signaling to Will her level of upset and distress about what was said), triggered a split-second accessing of (and instantly being placed inside of that) memory to an earlier time when he was 9yo and wasn’t able to protect his mom (the woman he loved). Will’s reaction last night was that of that 9yo traumatized little boy who simply reacted in the way that 9yo boy wanted to react back then.Does having a history of trauma (big or little) give a “free pass” for the present-day trauma reactions that involve the harming (physically, verbally, or emotionally) of another? No, of course not.However, it does highlight the extreme importance of understanding trauma and it’s many manifestations, and addressing it with effective trauma-informed approaches that address the emotional, physical (because we hold emotions in our body), and mental aspects of trauma. Hopefully, rather than simply vilify Will, and say he has “an anger problem,” people close to him can help him recognize that this is “A TRAUMA PROBLEM,” and help him get the trauma-informed help in the form of therapy in combination with modalities as EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques, or “tapping”), EMDR, or other somatic modalities that can effectively and efficiently release the traumatized aspects held in his memory and body. Once his trauma and his emotions are no longer dictating his actions, he could have a much more measured and effective response to situations such as that that occurred at last night awards ceremony.My further hope is that if anyone reading this finds that they are stuck in patterns of extreme reaction (such as Will experienced), or even less severe reactions, but you recognize are getting in the way of you living life the way you really want, please consider getting trauma-informed support.Even if you’ve not experienced “Big T” trauma, ALL of us have experienced various “little T” traumas that have impacted each of us in various ways personally and/or professionally—some with mild behaviors and impacts, some not so mild. As physicians, we are masterful at suppressing so many of our emotions, and the thoughts and memories associated with them. However, trauma has a way of impacting us in great big obvious ways (as we saw with Will Smith), and not such obvious ways (perfectionism, workaholism, lack of boundaries). I’m not suggesting any of us go unearthing swaths of past trauma (please don’t do this unless you are working with a trauma-informed individual). Simply be aware that it may be impacting you in ways you recognize and have yet to address, or in ways you never quite thought of as being associated with trauma. And, if needed, allow yourself to get the support you need by working with a trauma-informed therapist, trauma-informed coach, or other trauma-informed practitioner/modality.Now published by here: ... See MoreSee Less
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9 months ago

Jade Speaks Up
reducing the harm of violence is something all of us can do... take care of yourselves and your neighbourhoods whanau ... See MoreSee Less
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11 months ago

Jade Speaks Up
breathe, think and Do.. beautiful example of a karakia to do that! ... See MoreSee Less
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11 months ago

Jade Speaks Up
This little story about healing ... touched me today! its never too late to mend an aching heart even though the very best scenario is to nurture it in our children right from the start. ... See MoreSee Less
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Intermediate SENCO

Jade Speaks Up makes it OK for letting students at risk know that they are not the only one living in these situations and the programme is really good for opening up the students to the opportunities to tell their stories

Michelle Clayton and Linda Cooper

Creating the resource Jade Speaks up was a real community effort ably led by Elaine Dyer and her team at Violence Free Waitakere, bringing together expertise from across the West Auckland Family Violence Sector. Family Action was pleased to have been involved in the co-creation of the resource from inception. The clinical team use Jade Speaks Up extensively within the… Read more “Michelle Clayton and Linda Cooper”

Family Action CEO and Auckland City Councillor

Jennifer Martinez

I highly recommend the training for any group that is going to deliver Jade Speaks Up. It’s an opportunity for the team to learn together and have a shared understanding of the content and process. It will only strengthen the team to deliver a success programme. Andrea and Elaine were approachable and friendly facilitators, it made the learning easy and… Read more “Jennifer Martinez”

The Logos Project Marist Youth Development School Programme’s Leader

Deborah Sim

Thank you for telling me about and introducing me to the Jade Speaks Up Programme. As a family law barrister, I have seen the consequences of family violence and unresolved conflict in many family/whanau and other relationship situations. I have witnessed the distress and damage caused to children and understand how seriously this can impact their development and future wellbeing.I… Read more “Deborah Sim”

Barrister and Children's advocate

Eve Tonkin

I just had to put pen to paper to express my gratitude to you for the extraordinary programme that you have created. Jade Speaks Up is very different to any health programme that we have ever had anything to do with because it is holistic, emotionally intelligent and authentic for each who participates in it.
The depth, breadth and… Read more “Eve Tonkin”

Principal Timatanga Community School

David King

Jade Speaks Up is the programme with an explicit focus on keeping safe and Waikowhai Intermediate is embedding JSU into our delivery of the Health curriculum. JSU brings classes together and teachers see the improvements in student language to deal with issues. The programme fits very well culturally with the demographic of the school. It fits very well being woven… Read more “David King”

Principal of Waikowhai Intermediate, 2019 after 3 years of implementing JSU

Lisa Sell

I attended the “Jade Speaks Up” training at Kaitangata Primary School in January 2020.
This primary school is one I am assigned to in the Clutha District as a Public Health Nurse and so I know the school and community well.
At the end of 2019 it became evident that the school was having to manage and help… Read more “Lisa Sell”

Southern District Health Board

Dr Russell Wills

New Zealand has exceptionally high rates of family violence and child abuse compared to the rest of the world. Even if not physically assaulted, violence is profoundly harmful to children in the short- and long-term. The cost to our society and economy is enormous. Māori are over-represented among both perpetrators and victims. Family violence is our national shame. There are… Read more “Dr Russell Wills”

Paediatrician, Hawke’s Bay District Health Board. Former Children’s Commissioner.

Jacqueline Graham–Barley

Providing an environment where children are safe and do not live in fear is what we would like to think is the norm in our communities. Sadly this is not the case. Many children live with frightening moments in their lives, to many this is normal. They do not know how to put their concerns into words, or with whom… Read more “Jacqueline Graham–Barley”

MB Ch B, FRNZCGP, FRACGP, Diploma Obstetrics and gynaecology, Diploma Farm Health. Advanced Diploma Dermatology Advanced Diploma Skin cancer medicine and Surgery, Retired GP, Retired Senior Lecturer Central Queensland School of Medicine

Teacher from Te Ara Koropiko West Spreydon School

I have been waiting 6 years for a programme like this that addresses the high needs in our school , impacted by the triple trauma of earthquake, shootings and Covid-19. The JSU programme uniquely  caters for all, including the students with complex needs, those with trauma, and those in stable home lives. The programme allows all to participate and shine.

Social Workers in Schools attached to four participating schools

JSU captures children who otherwise wouldn’t come to the attention of services.  It is a non-identifying approach for whole classes to open up issues. It is a great opportunity to find out about how all domains are for children who can present as if everything is ok in their life