Getting help

West Coast Women’s Refuge is a multi-service agency that supports women and children who have experienced domestic violence. We can meet with you at home or another safe place to discuss your experiences and choices, help you to make safe plans for yourself and your children. Our Refuge workers are experienced and provide confidential, non-judgemental support, whether or not you choose to leave the relationship. We can also help you with WINZ, lawyers, courts , housing etc.

One in Three New Zealand Women experience domestic violence in their adult lifetime.

Safe House

An ordinary house on an ordinary street
Our safe house is set up in a confidential and violence free environment where your privacy is assured. Children’s facilities and advocate support are also available.

Community Outreach

Refuge advocates work in the community to provide you and your children with support. We can visit you to discuss safety plans and issues arising after a family violence incident and make referrals to services such as counselling, Doctors, and support programmes.

Maori Community Advocate

The Maori Community Advocate provides crisis support for Maori wahine and their tamariki who are affected by family violence. The advocate can meet you at your whare or another safe place.


Outreach advocates can support you when you go to Work and Income and help you with any benefits you may be entitled to.

Finding a lawyer

Finding and dealing with lawyers can sometimes be very overwhelming. Refuge advocates are experienced in the legal processes that you may have to undergo and can help you find the right lawyer for you and support you when visiting them. If you are concerned about money, you may be able to apply for legal aid, which can help with some or all of the costs involved.

In New Zealand, family violence is covered by the Domestic Violence Act 1995

If you are in a domestic relationship and you are experiencing domestic violence you are covered by this Act.

A Domestic Relationship is characterised as one between people who have a domestic or emotional bond – it can be between partners, parents and children, flatmates, brothers and sisters etc


Court can be an intimidating place. Refuge advocates can support you in court, including getting safely to and from the building, and helping you with preparation.

We are here to help.

– We are here to help you understand what you are experiencing and to support you
to live a life free from violence and abuse.

– We understand that in most cases you love and care for the person; you want the relationship,
you just don’t want the violence.

– If we are not the right place for you we have a list of agencies that we network with
that we can refer you to.

You can phone or email us anytime for advice, support or to talk about our Safehouse Services.