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Do you need Refuge?

Does the person you live with:
  • threaten you with beatings if you leave, or talk to a lawyer, or go to the police?
  • make it hard for you to leave the house?
  • make you feel stupid, mad or worthless?
  • not let you have your own friends?
  • keep you short of money?
  • make false accusations about you?
Do you feel:
  • fuzzy in the head?
  • depressed?
  • lacking in energy?
  • anxious and tense most of the time?
  • as though you are going mad?
  • guilty or ashamed about what is happening?
  • afraid for yourself or your children?
  • verbally abused and / or physically abused.
  • get headaches or backaches?
  • have trouble sleeping?
You can obtain a fact sheet test Are you being abused? from www.womensrefuge.org.nz

If the answer is YES to some of these questions, you could be living with physical and/or emotional abuse

Myths of Family Violence

  • Women Deserve it
  • Provoke it
  • Ask for it
  • Enjoy it
  • Would not stay if they did not like it
  • It is not a serious problem
  • It is worse in certain cultures
  • It only happens in poor families

These myths protect the abuser. The abusers can be husbands, de facto husbands, boyfriends, and lovers both male and female. Brothers, fathers, uncles, neighbours, workers, professionals such as doctors and lawyers.

They are from all strata of society, across all socio-economic groups and In all racial and cultural groups.

Our society finds it easier to blame the victim than to address the real issue : the abuser's misuse of power and control.

We do not judge or blame the victim for what has happened. We recognise the cycle of family violence can be broken and our work is geared towards this as well as to provide protection for the women and children affected.

Thinking about leaving?

It's very common for women to leave their abuser several times before they eventually leave. It often takes between 4-7 times.

Staying with an abuser is likely to get harder to cope with and more dangerous for you and your children as time goes on.

The reason you leave the first time will almost always be the same reason you leave for the last time.

Contact us here for advice.

Safety Plan for leaving

If it's safe, get together a bag that you can leave with a friend or whanau/family member, including:
  • ATM cards
  • Copy of Protection Order
  • Bank details
  • Birth Certificates
  • Children's items
  • Drivers licence
  • Financial documentation
  • Important documents: ie) residency
  • Keys for house and Car
  • Passports for you and your children
  • Phone cards
  • Precious items and personal belongings ie) photos
  • Special Dietary Food and Medication

If it is safe talk to your friends and neighbours. Ask them to ring the Police if they hear anything.

If you do not want the abuser to know you have rung Women's Refuge, just pick up the phone and push any number afterwards and then they will not be able to use Redial.

To avoid caller display - using TelstraClear dial*32 & other phone system dial 0197 before the phone number.

Plan a safe time to leave

Safety plan for staying

  • Apply for a Protection Order
  • Develop a plan & practice
  • Inform friends and neighbours.
  • Tell abuser you are not putting up with violence

Safety Plan when returning to the community

  • Talk to a lawyer about Protection Order, Tenancy or Occupation Order
  • Keep emergency phone numbers
  • Make your home safer: change the locks, outside lights, repair damaged windows, trim bushes and trees
  • Tell all your neighbours and friends
  • Use your own bank account.
  • Get a confidential phone number
  • Use a third party when dealing with the abuser.

Auckland Women's Refuge belongs to the National Body
of Women's Refuges @ www.womensrefuge.org.nz

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