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 only specialist domestic violence organisation operating nationally. For over 40 years Refuge has provided comprehensive services for women and children. It operates 41 affiliated refuges throughout New Zealand, with sixty percent of its workers being volunteers.

Why Women's Refuge is so important

  • Women’s Refuge reaches out to more than 20,000 women and children every year.
  • An average of 209 women and children feel so unsafe in their own homes they need to stay at a refuge safe house each night in this country.
  • Women’s Refuge 24/7 crisis line also receives a call every nine minutes.
  • Of women who seek help from Refuge; 63 percent report psychological abuse including threats and verbal abuse, 49 percent report physical abuse. Twenty four percent of children have directly witnessed the abuse.
  • 55 percent of Women's Refuge clients are under 36 years of age.
  • 35 percent of children Women's Refuge deals with are under 5 years of age.

In addition to this direct work with women and children, refuge advocates work with other agencies in the community to respond to 27,000 police referrals from call-outs annually that involve domestic violence.

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


“I was too scared to speak to my friends and family, I felt like I had let them down enough. Women’s Refuge provided a non-judgemental place to come and talk to an impartial person, and from there make a plan to safely get out of the situation and back with those who loved me.” April, 30


Where does the money from NZ Sculpture OnShore go?

To date, over $1.5 million has been raised for Women’s Refuges nationwide. As a result of our last exhibition in November 2014, the Friends of Women’s Refuges Trust was able to make a donation of $180,000.

The 2012 donation of $110,00 was used to support a project aimed at creating a sustainable source of income for Women’s Refuge. Called Yellow Belle, the project was launched in March 2014.

Past contributions have also supported other needs of refuges around New Zealand, including buying new whiteware for safe houses and developing educational resources. Funds donated from the 2010 exhibition allowed Women's Refuge to produce a vital information booklet called Fresh Start and a child advocacy kit called Mokupuna. Fresh Start is provided to women who access refuge services, while the child advocacy kit is a comprehensive tool for child advocates to use in their work.

In addition to these resources, a donation from the 2010 show was directed to refuges affected by the Christchurch earthquakes.

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 many women and children 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 the opportunity this event provides to raise awareness of our organisation with 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.