A group set up for firefighters who allege they have been sexually assaulted, harassed or abused while working for Fire and Emergency New Zealand already has nine members.
The Facebook support group called FENZ sexual abuse survivors peer support, was created after the Herald revealed the investigation of a complaint by a former volunteer firefighter against her fire chief was being reviewed by police.
Police initially said there was not enough evidence to prosecute the chief but after the woman asked Police Commissioner Andrew Coster to assign detectives from outside the district to review the investigation, police said they would.
An administrator of the Facebook support page, who did not want to be named, said after the story was made public several firefighters shared similar stories in an online forum prompting her to establish the group.
The woman said the page was about providing a safe place for victims to speak with others who had gone through similar experiences, and influence change within Fire and Emergency.
"It's the whole #MeToo movement isn't it, it's safety in numbers. There's a lot of strength in realising you're not the only person who's put up with a certain situation."
She hoped to take advantage of the momentum of the outcry following the Herald story.
Only sexually abused firefighters were allowed to join the group but so far the nine members included men and women.
The woman said she had experienced sexual abuse behaviour from colleagues in positions of power when she was younger, but didn't recognise it as that until years later.
Because of that she never complained to FENZ or the police.
The woman believed sexual abuse in employment was not well understood.
"I don't think people have a clear understanding of what sexual abuse is and the fact that if there's any unwanted sexual attention where a power imbalance is present, that that is sexual abuse.
"I think that goes for the perpetrators as well. I would hazard a guess that lots of perpetrators don't realise that what they're doing is sexual abuse. They think it's flirting or banter."
She had been a volunteer firefighter for 17 years and felt a duty to "look after" others.
Between January 2016 and May 2018 FENZ received 134 misconduct complaints, 89 of which were upheld.
Of those upheld, six related to harassment or sexual harassment and 46 related to inappropriate behaviour. Thirteen related to bullying and five led to criminal charges.
In July 2018 FENZ commissioned an independent review of workplace policies to address bullying and harassment, led by retired judge Coral Shaw.
Fire and Emergency chief executive Rhys Jones said bullying or harassment had no place at the organisation.
"We are working hard to build an organisation where everyone feels safe, welcome and included."
Jones said he was aware of the independent support group and believed it was important that firefighters support each other.
"There are a number of ways at Fire and Emergency that people can confidentially report and seek support if they experience unwanted behaviour.
"We have made sure support is available to our people and their families and actively encourage our people to seek the support that is available if they need it."
He said Shaw's findings were released in January last year and FENZ had been working on a wide range of initiatives to build an organisation with a respectful and inclusive culture.
"It will take time but we are making sure that the right support systems, training and tools are in place so that any unwanted behaviour can be dealt with.
"Last year we established a dedicated Behaviour and Conduct Office which will be the centre for education and training on values-based behaviour and where our people can report unwanted behaviour."
Victims of sexual abuse can also complain to the Human Rights Commission where the burden of proof is lower than in a criminal case, and complainants can sue for financial recompense.
The commission will try to settle the case through mediation but if that's unsuccessful it goes to the Director of Human Rights Proceedings, who decides whether to take the case through the Human Rights Review Tribunal.
This can happen simultaneously to a police complaint.
A complainant can apply for legal help through their union or a Community Law Centre.
Director of Human Rights Proceedings Michael Timmins encouraged sexual abuse survivors to think about whether they can make a complaint to the Human Rights Commission.
"It's also really important to have support networks of people who have gone through similar things and it sounds like this support network on Facebook is a really good platform for people to get together and share their experiences and support each other."