When someone from the Prime Minister's office called Judy (Jude) Simpson a few weeks ago to tell her she was receiving a Queen's Birthday honour, she was stunned.

"I told them they had got the wrong person, and I needed quite a bit of convincing that it was me. To be frank, I had to do some reading to find out what the actual honour means."

The 58-year-old Papamoa mother and grandmother has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her tireless services to the prevention of domestic violence.

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When the Bay of Plenty Times caught up with Simpson on Sunday she was about to fly to Auckland to facilitate another training course for a bunch of new police recruits.

Since 2014 she has worked full-time for the police as the lead family harm facilitator at the police college, and previously held that role part-time for about eight years.

She is responsible for the design and delivery of new family harm and prevention police recruit course curriculum now taught in Auckland and at the Wellington police college.

She also works as family violence prevention advocate for the Ministry of Social Development's It's not OK campaign and facilitates workshops for other organisations.

Between 2007 and 2014, she was also the family violence prevention advocate for Presbyterian Support Northern area.

She designed and facilitated an eight-week positive lifestyle programme for the Department of Correction called Whakamanahia Wāhine for low-risk women offenders.

In her work, Simpson has been able to draw on her personal experience as a victim of abuse, outlined in her book Lost and Found: A Woman's Living Proof.

A humble Simpson said: "Like many other people out there I'm sure, I don't do this work to receive awards and it's a bit overwhelming, to be honest.


"Reducing incidents of family harm is what really matters to me and the police. A lot of people still think family violence is just physical. But it's the psychological abuse which is soul-destroying for victims," she said.

If you're in danger now:

■ Phone the police on 111 or ask neighbours or friends to ring for you.

■ Run outside and head for where there are other people.

■ Scream for help so that your neighbours can hear you.

■ Take the children with you.

■ Don't stop to get anything else.

■ If you are being abused, remember it's not your fault. Violence is never okay

Where to go for help or more information:

■ Women's Refuge: Free national crisis line operates 24/7 — 0800 refuge or 0800 733 843

■ Shine, free national helpline 9 am to11pm every day — 0508 744 633

■It's Not Ok: Information line 0800 456 450