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Media Release 3 July 2023

At 17,680 nights, this July is a little longer than most

For Women’s Refuge, July has 17,680 days – the number of collective Safe Nights that will be
required for the many women and children who are too – unsafe to stay at home this month.

Women’s Refuge is calling on the generosity of New Zealanders to help provide 17,680 Safe Nights
for those experiencing family violence in July through purchasing a $20 Safe Night.

Dr Ang Jury ONZM, Chief Executive of Women’s Refuge, says in any given month hundreds of
women need the help of Women’s Refuge in finding somewhere safe for them and their children to
begin building lives free from violence and it is generosity of New Zealanders that helps us make
this a reality.

“Unfortunately, we find ourselves in another year where family violence remains at epidemic
levels. Last year we received 52,000 referrals for service, and so far, this year, we see no sign of
any reduction and are in fact expecting more. While this number is utterly unacceptable, we are
heartened that women continue to reach out to us for help.”

“We are incredibly grateful to those who can purchase a Safe Night and give a woman and her
children a chance to begin building a life that does not revolve around anxiety and fear. Without this
support we could not provide the level of assistance these women and children deserve.”

On average each whānau who comes to Women’s Refuge for help stays for 26 days, some for
much longer.

It is vital, Dr Jury notes to “remember that a Safe Night is just the beginning for our clients – a
crucial start to a long process that involves numerous nights of with us and is so much more than
just a safe place to sleep. When a woman and her children enter our service, we support them in
whatever they need to begin their healing journey.”

Dame Miranda Harcourt Miranda Harcourt, the face of the Safe Night initiative is encouraging New
Zealanders to be generous this July.

“Many of us are in the fortunate position of looking forward to heading home at the end of the day
to spend quality time with our loved ones. However, it is a fact that every night hundreds of women
and children in Aotearoa are not as lucky. Home is not a happy place to say the least. I know that
together we can make a difference to those women and children by providing the total number of
Safe Nights needed in July, giving them a chance at a new life.”

Women’s Refuge advocates help across a wide spectrum, ranging from help accessing healthcare
and counselling, support with MSD and budgeting advice, obtaining a protection order and legal
assistance, finding a place to live, helping to fund activities for tamariki and establishing relationships
with schools and teachers, even meeting basic needs like food, clothing, and much more.

“We know that women who use our services face many barriers, and they can seem insurmountable.
It can take many safe nights coupled with time, care, and assistance to help a whānau build a violence
free life. Leaving an abuser is not straightforward. It is a complex and difficult journey – one that we
go on with each client,” says Dr Ang Jury, ONZM.

To help provide a Safe Night this July for a woman and her children including hot meals, transport,
support and advice visit .


Editors Notes:
• Over the past year Women’s Refuge hundreds of each month. The average stay for each family
is 26 days totally 17,680 Safe Nights.
• Around 50,000 women and children were referred to Women’s Refuge last year.
• In the last 12 months, 60,821 bednights were provided to women and children experiencing
family violence.
• On average Women’s Refuge answers 71 crisis calls per day.
• New Zealand has the highest rates of family violence in the OECD.
• 1 in 3 women will experience abuse in their lifetime in Aotearoa.
• Nearly half of all homicides and reported violent crimes are related to family violence.
• Around 67% of family violence episodes go unreported.


Dr Ang Jury, ONZM, CEO, Women’s Refuge and Dame Miranda Harcourt are available for
interviews and comment.


Media Contact:
Susan Barker
Communications, Marketing and Fundraising Manager
027 403 5155