We undertake original research projects on domestic violence issues in New Zealand.

Domestic violence impacts on a number of sectors. These include housing, employment, welfare, police, education, disability issues, drugs and alcohol, health, corrections and the justice sector.

Our research investigates domestic violence and issues related to these sectors. On an ad hoc basis, we undertake various projects to help us find ways to improve the safety and well being of New Zealand women and children.

Here is the current research that Women’s Refuge has undertaken.

Kids in The Middle
Women’s Refuge has released a first of its kind research report into what children need to feel safe after family violence. Nineteen children aged 5-13 were interviewed by specialist researchers about their experiences of finding safety and support. All of the kids that took part in the research were forthcoming with their thoughts, feelings, and memories of being in Women’s Refuge safe houses or programmes. The children’s reflections of their time at Refuge prompted us to think differently about how kids cope with the aftermath of violence.

Intimate Partner Stalking
Women’s Refuge has released research that examines stalking in the context of an intimate partner relationship or intimate partner stalking (IPS). Over 700 respondents answered the survey and the research also looked at Women’s Refuge internal statistics and found that stalking was part of the pattern of violence for over 70% of our client pre-separation, and over 60% post-separation.

Pet Abuse Report

For many women living with intimate partners who use abuse to exercise power and control over them, animals represent both a source of comfort and a source of vulnerability. Pets and farm animals can represent some of the most meaningful relationships in victims’ lives, and for many, these constitute family relationships. Unfortunately, many victims are forced to bear witness to the same brutality towards their pets that they are subjected to themselves, as the person who abuses them also threatens, frightens, harms, and even kills the animals that they care for.

Reproductive Coercion

Reproductive coercion is a form of Intimate Partner Violence (IVP) that involves controlling access and tampering with contraceptives, pregnancy coercion, attempting to cause miscarriage, and intentional exposure to sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The study also looked at partner behaviours during different points of pregnancy and around the termination of a pregnancy. In addition it addressed the monitoring of sexuality as a form of control, and as a way to facilitate reproductive coercion.

Economic abuse report

In recognition of the minimal available literature on economic abuse in the context of intimate partner violence, Women’s Refuge conducted a survey of 445 women who considered themselves to have been victims or potential victims of economic abuse by partners. The aim of this research was to explore women’s experiences of being victimised through economic abuse, and in particular, how this impacted their social, employment, and housing situations.