Information and Advice

Asking for help takes courage

It can be a difficult decision to reach out, but it can also be the most positive, empowering and life-changing way forward.

Family violence is a pattern of power, control and coercion. Violence is not just physical, trust your intuition. Violence within the home may present differently from culture to culture and between different socio-economic groups.   

If something does not feel right to you, then it’s not OK. 

If you are being abused, remember it’s not your fault. Violence is never okay. No one deserves to be abused, and we are always here to help you. At Women’s Refuge, we won’t judge you. We will listen to you and support you to make choices for your safety.

Kia kaha. 

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Below are different types of abusive behaviour that can occur. 

  • Psychological or Emotional Violence

inflicting mental pain, anguish, or distress on an elder person through verbal or nonverbal acts. Examples may include: Threatening to harm you or the children, damaging belongings, stalking, isolating from friends and whānau, actions or threats, hurting animals or pets, constant put downs and belittling, exposing children to trauma. 

  • Economic Violence

Illegal or improper use of funds or other resources, and/or exploitation. Examples may include: Withholding money, monitoring the finances, making all the financial decisions, demanding proof of all expenditure and checking receipts, allotting a allowance. 

  • Sexual Violence

non-consensual sexual contact of any kind. Examples may include: Forced to have sex, feeling sexually harassed, being made to engage in degrading or unsafe sexual behaviour, being made to watch pornographic material. 

  • Physical Violence

inflicting physical pain or causing injury, including inappropriate use of force or restraint and use of medications that sedate or cause harm. Examples may include: Slapping, beating, punching, kicking, strangling, shaking, biting or pinching. It may involve the use of weapons and can cause serious long term injury or fatality. 

  • Spiritual Violence or Neglect 

Failure to meet the physical and emotional needs of an older person. Feeling as though your spirit/wairua is being attacked, stops you from expressing your spiritual or religious beliefs, stops you going to church/ temple, puts down your beliefs, uses their/your religious beliefs to justify their behaviour. 

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