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Media Release 30th November 2023

Contact marks 50 years of Women’s Refuge by bolstering support for those experiencing family violence

Contact Energy (Contact) has bolstered its support of Women’s Refuge, building on its long-term partnership with the social service organisation that on average assists 50,000 women and children escaping family violence in New Zealand each year.

This month sees 50 years of Women’s Refuge in Aotearoa New Zealand. To mark this, Contact has gifted $50,000 which will provide 2,500 Safe Nights to provide women and their children with a clean bed, hot meals, transport, and support. This brings the total amount of Safe Nights that Contact has donated to more than 25,000 since its partnership began with Women’s Refuge in July 2022.

Since announcing its commitment to help those experiencing family violence in New Zealand, Contact has also:

  • gifted almost $375,0001 of electricity and broadband to Women’s Refuge’s 70 refuges and safe houses across Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • collaborated with Women’s Refuge on a first of its kind research programme to build a deeper understanding of family violence from survivors to provide a robust evidence base for stronger, safer family violence practices, legislation and systems.
  • enabled Women’s Refuge clients to set up electricity accounts regardless of their credit history.
  • ‘shielded’ its website to allow women to access information about how they can get help, without leaving a trail for an abusive partner to see.

“Kiwi homes should be warm, connected and most importantly safe. Through our long-standing partnership with Women’s Refuge, we recognise that this is not a reality for all whānau in New Zealand,” says Contact’s CEO Mike Fuge. “Our support for Women’s Refuge means they can focus on their core services without having to worry about how they’ll keep the lights on or their safe houses warm.”

Dr Ang Jury, CEO of the National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges, says the money Women’s Refuge saved on power and internet has been redirected to crucial necessities and various initiatives.

“As well as food and clothing, this money has paid for transportation, learning and sports programmes, and has helped women to get their driving licences, amongst other things,” explains Dr Ang Jury. “The savings also enabled one refuge to invest in a child advocate to provide dedicated support to tamariki to give them a voice. This would not have been possible without Contact’s help.”

Dr Ang Jury says when Women’s Refuge first started family violence was seen as a private issue. Now it is seen as a problem that destroys thousands of lives and costs New Zealand billions of dollars every year.

“It’s not a problem that will be fixed overnight, but it starts with thinking differently about family violence and acknowledging that it affects everyone,” says Dr Ang Jury. “You don’t have to look far in your immediate circle to find someone who is impacted.

“For the past 50 years we have worked to provide women and children with hope. To reassure them that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, rather than a train coming for them. It’s my hope that in the next 50 years every woman and child in Aotearoa will live a violence free life.”

Women’s Refuge is calling on December and January babies to share their birthday with Women’s Refuge, as part of its Summer Appeal. The campaign will let Kiwis give Safe Nights as birthday presents, over the festive period. More information can be found here.



Notes to Editor
1 Contact provided $374,938 worth of free electricity and broadband to Women’s Refuge’s 70 refuges and safe houses between January 2022 and October 2023.

A link to the video with Dr Ang Jury can also be accessed on YouTube here:

Media enquiries
Lotty Hird
Senior Communications Advisor
M: 027 207 8684

About Contact
Contact Energy is one of New Zealand’s largest energy retailer and generators. We have more than 580,000 connections with electricity, gas, broadband and mobile. Our vision is to build a better Aotearoa New Zealand by leading New Zealand’s decarbonisation journey. We believe home is the most important place in the world.  It’s all part of our long-term vision to create and contribute to a better New Zealand; from the homes and communities we live in, to the land and resources that future generations can enjoy.


More information can be found in Contact’s 2023 Integrated Report

About Women’s Refuge
Established in 1973, the charity started out by women and children escaping domestic violence staying with other women and children. Today, there are 40 Refuges across the motu from Kaitaia to Invercargill. They provide a wide range of services including help accessing healthcare and counselling, budgeting advice, assisting with protection orders and other legal matters, finding a place to live, funding for children’s activities, and support with basics like food and clothing.

Over the years, the charity has played a key role in advocating for changes to the law to protect victims of family violence.

  • On average, 50,000 women and children are referred to Women’s Refuge each year.
    • 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.