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The Women’s Refuge training unit Te Kōwhai New Zealand Family Violence Training & Research Institute was established to meet the need for quality information and training about domestic violence in New Zealand. We were the pioneers in designing and developing training and education programmes on the issue in the early 1980s.

Educating people about domestic violence

Since then, we have been delivering a range of training and education programmes to government agencies, organisations, professionals, businesses, women, children and families. We have over 40 years’ experience working in the field of domestic violence.

In addition to our day to day services, many refuges have different programmes that are offered to members of the public around awareness and response to domestic violence.  If you would like to know more about group training please contact your local refuge, or NCIWR at

A number of our programmes have been delivered to communities, businesses, non-government and government organisations that work with family violence, helping them to learn more about the dynamics of domestic violence, the change cycle women go through during this process, and the safety of women and children who leave violent relationships.  Examples of some organisations we have delivered this training to includes:

  • Work and Income New Zealand staff nationwide
  • 0800 ‘It’s Not Okay’ telephone operators
  • New Zealand Police
  • Department of Health
  • Child, Youth & Family
  • The Body Shop
  • Hesketh Henry.

These education programmes build strong relationships between government departments and Women’s Refuge, and provide an essential role in educating the public about the impact of domestic violence and how we can all work together to keep women and children safe.

How we can prevent domestic violence…

Women’s Refuges around New Zealand provide:

  • education programmes and support services, information and safe housing to women, young people and children experiencing abuse
  • advice to their concerned friends and family members.

Learn more about our services which may help you or someone you know experiencing abuse right now. You can also download free factsheets and information or purchase resources we produce.

…and effect positive change

With four decades’ experience working directly in the field of domestic violence while providing policy advice and advocacy on domestic violence in New Zealand, we’re widely regarded as experts on the subject. Our policy work means that we offer advice and make submissions to the government, plus we collaborate with other non-government organisations, and produce original research.

An important aspect of our work is raising awareness, while raising vital funds. We do this by staging public campaigns, encouraging payroll giving and maintaining and nurturing a database of regular donors.

We also create awareness about domestic violence by providing expert comment to the media, issuing media releases, and attending conferences and events such as the Parachute music festival to offer information, workshops and seminars.