A busy Christmas and New Year for Women’s Refuge
17 January 2012For some refuges in New Zealand it has been a record holiday season with high numbers of women and children using services between Dec 23 and January 14th.
“Many refuges have had their busiest year in 25 years, or a 100% increase in referrals or calls,” says Chief Executive Heather Henare. “A recent call out to our 45 independent affiliated refuges has shown that it has definitely been a busy season for women seeking help for domestic violence issues over the holiday period. There are only a few regions that did not notice an increase.”
The increase has occurred as a result of Police referrals from domestic violence call outs or from from women who called Women’s Refuges for assistance or emergency accommodation for themselves and their children. “The West Coast had the busiest year for around 25 years with 37 police referrals and 49 crisis calls with Gore, Hamilton, Manawatu, Marlborough, Taranaki and Auckland also busy,” she said.
The Rotorua refuge had 20 women and children at their safe house on Christmas day which was unprecedented. “Usually families try and keep the veneer of togetherness over Christmas due to visiting relatives or if they are in someone else’s home, but sadly this unravels after or between Christmas and New Year.”
Some refuges arranged activities for children as many families had no access or money for these kind of things. One comment from a mother who used a refuge sums up the sad situation, she said “I have used this as a last resort, I’m really embarrassed that it has come to this and in front of my family as well.”
Media Contact: Sue Lytollis, firstname.lastname@example.org (Mob) 027 322 4688 or 04 801 2702