Common Questions

How long will I be in the Women’s Refuge?

You can stay for anything from one day up to three months, depending on your needs.  Our advocate will work with you to create a plan and help you access housing, legal and budgeting help.

What is Women’s Refuge?

Our women’s refuge is a home where you can be safe.  You will pay a contribution towards your and your children’s accommodation and provide your own food etc.   We will help you by creating a safety plan with you, making a plan to live free from violence, and advocate on your behalf to access budgeting assistance, housing etc.

How much will being in Refuge cost me?

This will depend on your circumstances and how many children you have staying with you, but we will always provide assistance to access benefits you may be entitled to.  Your ability to pay a contribution will not be a barrier to your safety.

Who can I tell where I am?

The less people who know where you are, the safer you will be.  You must not tell anyone the address of the women’s refuge, both for your safety and the safety of the other women staying in the home.

What are Ministry of Justice Safety Programmes?

These is free help for people who have experienced domestic violence

You’re able to get free and confidential safety services if: you’re a victim of a charge related to domestic violence in a criminal courtyou’ve applied for a Protection Order through the Family Court and are waiting for a decision.

Services are designed to help you deal with the effects of the violence, feel more confident and move forward with your life. We will explain how to keep safe and provide practical information about how Protection Orders work.

There are services for adults and are available by phone or face-to-face. There are also courses for children to help them cope with the effects violence has had on them and their family.

These programmes are for children who are named on protection orders, or for the children of the protected person who live with them. For more information:

Is it confidential?
You confidentiality is very important to us we will respect your privacy, unless your or another’s safety safety is at risk.
What is ACC Sensitive Claims?

ACC Sensitive Claims is ACC funded support following sexual abuse or assault. You can have one-to-one sessions with an ACC approved therapist.

The number of sessions you receive depends on your needs. If you like, your family and whanau can also access some sessions. For more information:

How Much Will it Cost?

ACC Sensitive Claim counselling & Ministry of Justice Safety programmes are free.  There is also no cost for our Outreach service.

We are only partially funded, so If you are not eligible for ACC or Ministry of Justice programmes, then we do ask for a donation towards your counselling. This can be negotiated depending on your circumstances.  Your ability to pay will not inhibit your entry to service.

Protection Order

How will the Protection Order work?

If the Protection Order is breached or ignored, for example the person named on it tries to contact you in any way – you should report it to the Police immediately. If you are dissatisfied with how the Police respond to reported breaches, please ring Family Action for advice. The abuser may then be arrested, go to prison or pay a fine.

A Protection Order is also kept on the abuser’s Police file (but it does not show up on a Police check, for example if that person applies for a job requiring a Police check).

It is important to make copies of your order:

  • Keep one in your handbag.
  • Keep one at home.
  • Give one to your employer, or minimally keep one with you at work.
  • Give one to your local Police station (yes, the Police should have access to it through their computer files, but this will ensure they have access to your order regardless).
  • Give one to each child’s school/day care and talk to the principal about making sure that staff do not allow the respondent to access your children.
What do I need to give the lawyer?

Copies of your marriage certificate, birth certificates of you and your children, passports, residency papers.

Any police reports or information from the hospital or GP which supports your history of abuse, Names and numbers of those who can back up your story, e.g. neighbour, relative, friend.