Women's Refuge centres across the country have been inundated over the holiday period.
Chief executive Ang Jury says there was a significant increase in the number of women and children seeking help.
She says the holiday period can be particularly tense for a lot of families.
"It's also a period in the year where there's a hell of a lot more call on finances, there's a lot more alcohol consumed - all of the stresses come together."
Dr Jury says there needs to be a change in behaviour to reduce the number of women in need.
- The woman spreading Christmas joy through handbags
- Temuera Morrison's powerful Women's Refuge appeal
A new centre in Tauranga had to find alternative emergency accommodation as beds filled up.
"It was busy across the holiday period - some refuges were full, some were not quite so full. None were empty, as far as I'm aware."
Dr Jury says the high volume of women in need of shelter comes as no surprise, with the current housing crisis.
"It was up… probably more than a little bit on last year. That's not really unexpected really, when you look at the housing situation we've got."
Dr Jury says harmful behaviour needs to be addressed to reduce the number of women seeking help.
Where to find help and support:
- Need to Talk? - Call or text 1737
- Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
- Youthline - 0800 376 633, text 234, email firstname.lastname@example.org or online chat
- Samaritans - 0800 726 666
- Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757
- Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)