Peer Support

“Finally someone got where I was coming from and was on my side.” - Purposeful Peer Support client

Everybody deserves to live a life free from violence and abuse, but the journey towards a violence-free future can be long and challenging. Others that have traveled that path are here at Aviva to walk alongside you.

Who are Aviva Peer Support Services for?

Aviva Peer Support offers a range of services.

Aviva one-on-one Specialist Peer Support, and where available Peer Support Groups, are for anyone who has experienced or used violence or abuse. It is for people of all genders, ethnicities, or ages, who have experience of either historic and recent violence or abuse.

Community Development includes workshops specifically for those who have used or experienced family violence, but also offers training, social, and upskilling opportunities for the wider community and professionals.

What is Aviva Peer Support?

Aviva Peer Support offers a range of services filtered through a lens of lived experience. This includes one-on-one Specialist Peer Support, Community Development (e.g. social events, training, and opportunities to connect), and where available Peer Support Groups.

Our Peer Support Specialists have lived experience of overcoming the long-term effects of family violence and have made and maintained change.

Aviva’s peer support model operates with a new kaupapa, where overcoming family violence is something to be proud of and to be shared. Those who have travelled this path are uniquely experienced to inspire and support others along the way, reducing the stigma and shame that prevents people from reaching out.

To learn more about upcoming opportunities, see below.

What is Community Development?

Aviva believes it is important to upskill and further develop communities and our service models through a lens of lived experience.

Community Development offers the opportunity to participate in trainings, attend social events, and contribute to the further development of this service through focus groups and conversations.

See upcoming workshops and other community development opportunities below.

Specialist Peer Support: tailored one-on-one support

Our Peer Support Specialists offer tailored one-on-one support. How long your support lasts and how frequently you access it is entirely up to the two of you.

In one-on-one sessions, you will:

  • get to take the lead;
  • unpack and reframe your experiences;
  • make peace with your past;
  • understand how you’ve come to know what you know, including the coping mechanisms you may have developed in response to trauma;
  • be supported to develop a vision for the future, and move toward it.

To register your interest, complete a referral form. For more information, contact

Upcoming courses and workshops

Aviva's Peer Support Service often runs workshops to empower communities and professionals to better support people. For details of upcoming courses, see below:


Peer Support Group

A mixed gender support group, where participants can come together and share their journey of long-term healing and recovery from family or sexual violence (their own use of violence and/or or somone else's).

The first of its kind in Aotearoa, the group creates a supportive environment, where all members can lead, and have input in their own healing journey. The group promotes awareness towards change; strong families and a sense of community, by coming together and creating a space where people can grow, explore, connect and be real.

The group offers:

  • ongoing peer support and connection
  • a safe space for growth and development
  • leadership opportunities

Date: Every 3rd Tuesday, starting 03 August 2021

Time: 5.30-7.00PM

To find out more or request to join, contact


Purposeful Peer Support Workshop

delivered over 8 weeks

Purposeful Peer Support is for those who have used or experienced family violence to develop effective communication and relationship skills that can be used to support others in their community. This training includes: developing self awareness; stigma and discrimination; the effects of trauma; self care; boundaries; communication skills and more.

Criteria for training:

  • You identify as someone who has overcome family violence
  • You're not currently in a violent or abusive relationship
  • You're committed to personal development & willing to learn
  • You want to share what you have learned through personal experience
  • You have sufficient time to attend the whole course & complete homework tasks (graduation is not possible if minimum session requirement is not met)
  • You can read, understand & write English at
    high school level

The course will run when enough people have expressed an interest, at Ashburton Public Library, Havelock Street. 

To register your interest, complete the form below under "Register your interest."

For more information, contact


Register Your Interest for Purposeful Peer Support Training

We look after your information in terms of confidentiality and privacy, and we comply with the Privacy Act 2020. We will only share information if required to by law or if you consent to us sharing information. 

Do you identify as a person who has overcome family violence?
Are you currently in a violent/abusive relationship?
Are you committed to personal development and willing to learn?
Have you viewed the workshop outline?
Do you have sufficient time to attend the whole workshop?
Do you have the desire to use what you have learnt through your personal experience of overcoming family violence to inspire hope in the lives of others?
Are you comfortable to train in a mixed group (men & women)?

Where did you hear/see about this workshop?


Contact Us

  • Call us on (03) 378 3847 or 0800 AVIVA NOW (0800 28482 669) - 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for people in Canterbury
  • Email (this inbox is checked Monday-Friday, 9-5)
  • Please complete a referral form and forward to Aviva by email. The peer referral form can be completed by anyone (in fact it’s best if it comes from the person itself).