A home security and safety service for people affected by domestic violence

Womens Refuge is New Zealand’s leading agency in responding to and preventing domestic violence. In addition to the many services we offer women and children affected by domestic violence we can now offer an additional service called Whanau Protect National Home Safety Service.

This service is available in selected locations to victims of domestic violence who are at high risk of repeat victimisation and of serious injury or death, if they remain in their homes without a safety upgrade.

As part of the National Home Safety Service, the victims’ homes will be upgraded – for example, doors and windows are strengthened, locks replaced, alarms installed, and a blueprint for home safety is developed to walk families through the new security measures and how to use them to keep themselves safe. This service is particularly important in areas that have a lack of safe houses for alternative accommodation.

The Whanau Protect National Home Safety Service will play a key role in providing support and resources for family violence victims and children to live free from violence, and continue to do so in their own homes. It will give family violence victims more options for leaving an abusive relationship, which is especially important for victims who cannot, or do not want to, leave their home.

It is important to note that only a relatively small group of domestic violence victims are eligible for the service. It is only available for domestic violence victims assessed as being at high risk of serious injury or death if they remain in their homes without a safety upgrade. The high risk victim must also want to end the relationship with their abuser, and be living apart from them, to be eligible for the service.

Eligible victims will be those who have experienced repeat family violence; are likely to experience family violence in the future; are likely to suffer physical injury or death as a result of future family violence, and; wish to remain in their current home. If a client is not able to receive this service due to availability restrictions or ineligibility, one of our advocates will work through other options with them.

The Whanau Protect National Home Safety Service will initially be available in Auckland, Tauranga and Christchurch; and rolled out across other New Zealand regions from November. For further information on this service please contact us atWhanauprotect@refuge.org.nz; or via your local refuge.