NZ Women's Refuge

Donna Turtle Sarten, 'Black and White and Red All Over', 2012. Photo: Howard Williams


Women’s Refuge is New Zealand’s largest nation-wide organisation that supports and helps women and children experiencing domestic violence. Since 1973, Women’s Refuge has pioneered work that improves the lives of women and children affected by domestic violence. We provide a wide range of services and programmes delivered by both paid staff and a large network of trained volunteers to ensure that families can live happy violence-free lives.


As well as advocacy and practical support to individuals and their families, we also run training programmes for communities and organisations to help educate people about the impact of domestic and family violence.


As New Zealand’s most significant domestic violence organisation, Women’s Refuge takes a strong advocacy role by working to positively change policy and attitudes about domestic violence. We do this by working closely with the government and running public campaigns – all to help keep women and their children safe.


In 2017, 40,000 women and children required our assistance. We provided 72,218 nights of safe and secure accommodation across the year and answered 140 crisis line calls every day.


Women’s Refuge relies heavily on donations and the goodwill of New Zealanders, as we are only partially funded by the government for the round the clock critical services we provide.
Our vision is for all women and children in New Zealand to live free from domestic and family violence.



Client quotes:

“I left in the night, in my nightie, and by myself- not with my children. By the time I had walked in to Women’s Refuge, it was a day or two later, they worked with me to get my children back and made sure there was space in the safe house to go straight there. My safe house worker, she actually pushed and pushed to get me a house and couldn’t believe I had waited over 7 months for any housing whatsoever. So when I did find somewhere to move to in another town, they provided us with spotlights on the outside of the house, and set up a safe room for us so that we can have somewhere to go while we were waiting for the police to come, if he was to come to our house. We also were given a personal safety alarm, where you push the button and the police are there as fast as they can- and it records everything. They’ve recently come with me to a restorative justice meeting- that was amazing, because I’m not with them anymore- but they still just did that out of the kindness of their hearts.” Selina


“I was very surprised about what kind of services they offered me and my children… Without them I wouldn’t be the person I am today.” Julia


NZ Sculpture OnShore was established to provide financial help to Women's Refuge and that remains our ultimate goal.


Where does the money from NZ Sculpture OnShore go?
New Zealand Sculpture OnShore was started in 1995 by the Friends of Women’s Refuge Trust, and over the past twenty years the event has raised over $1.65m for Women’s Refuge.


The 2016 donation of $135,000 was used to purchase essential items for safe houses including whiteware, Manchester, pyjamas and other practical items.


Past contributions have also supported other needs of refuges around New Zealand, including developing educational resources and establishing a counselling fund to allow clients to heal emotionally as well as physically from the traumas of domestic violence.
Funds from NZ Sculpture OnShore have also allowed Women's Refuge to produce Fresh Start – a practical guide and educational tool for survivors of family and intimate partner violence and a child advocacy kit called Mokupuna. Fresh Start is provided to women who access refuge services and other organisations within the Domestic Violence space, while the child advocacy kit is a comprehensive tool for child advocates to use in their work.


From Dr Ang Jury, Chief Executive of Women's Refuge
Friends of Women's Refuges Trust is a vital source of support for the work we do with women and children across New Zealand. The funds raised by NZ Sculpture OnShore, over many years now, have allowed us to assist a great number of women create safe futures for themselves and their children. Without the passion and support of such groups, along with the wider public, our work would be immeasurably more difficult.


Not only are the funds raised by NZ Sculpture OnShore incredibly important in supporting this work, but this event provides an opportunity to raise awareness of our organisation and the numerous services we offer. To have the opportunity to get this message across to such a large and diverse audience is beyond value.



You can find out more about the vital work that Woman's Refuge does to help victims of domestic violence by clicking here to visit their website. Alternatively you can see the latest Te Ara Newsletter by clicking here.

If you know someone who might want to use refuge services they can call 0800 REFUGE (733 843) 24/7

Our Sponsors

We are grateful for the generous and on-going support of our sponsors.
To find out more about how these organisations help us to help Women's Refuge, click on the logos below.