Women’s Refuge disappointed by Collins’ comment

  • 19/07/2014

Women's Refuge is disappointed at a comment by Justice Minister Judith Collins that women won't want to seek its aid because it helps the partners of gang members.

Ms Collins appeared on Q+A on July 13 after the release of the Government's package of domestic violence policies.

She said Women's Refuge chief executive Heather Henare had told her the organisation had a lot of gang women coming to them.

"They've been able to organise some sort of arrangement with the president of the local Mongrel Mob to allow their women to come to the refuge when the violence got too bad," Ms Collins told the programme.

"But there's a lot of women who are going to say they don't want to go to that sort of place and they need to have options."

Ms Henare told Q+A today the minister's comment after their April meeting was "disappointing".

"We talked about protection orders, we talked about breaches of orders, we talked about the family court and then the minister asked me about what we are doing about gang women."

She told Ms Collins of a local initiative where refuge had negotiated with the gang president to be able to get access to women if they needed support.

"A lot of the women that are in those situations that have gang partners don't feel able to ring the police," Ms Henare said.

"From the perspective of refuge, all women should be able to access refuge's services."

Women were placed within refuge based on their need, she said.

"If we have women that are in our refuge where we believe they may not be able to work with other women we will always look to find other refuges - that's why we have a collective."

Ms Henare said refuge was New Zealand's largest domestic violence service provider, with 41 refuges across the country.


source: newshub archive