Measuring Success

Success is often hard to measure in the domestic violence world. What may seem like a very insignificant action for someone not experiencing abuse can be a life changing moment for a woman living with violence. Simply phoning the Women’s Refuge crisis line or the Police for the first time is a massive step for many of the women we work with and one that must be celebrated.

Last year, Palmerston North Women’s Refuge received 1174 calls on our crisis line. Many talked to us about having been told repeatedly that no-one will believe them, that they are mad, or that they will lose their children if they report violence. In the face of such mind games it is little wonder that so many women question their sanity and hesitate to seek help or are too frightened to speak out.

Success is often hard to measure in the domestic violence world. What may seem like a very insignificant action for someone not experiencing abuse can be a life changing moment for a woman living with violence. Simply phoning the Women’s Refuge crisis line or the Police for the first time is a massive step for many of the women we work with and one that must be celebrated.

At Palmerston North Women’s Refuge we measure our success by the increasing numbers of women who reach out to us each year. We applaud their courage. While a percentage of the women we contact us will sadly require the safety and comfort of our Safe House, a great many do not and we can work with them to remain safe in their own homes. For those who do choose to stay with us, it is a move that few regret.

“I just knew that one day he was going to really hurt me so the night he started hitting me while I was holding our boy in my arms I knew I needed to go. The Refuge came and picked me up from the Police Station and I went to their safe house. It was really strange at the start because I didn’t know anyone there but the Coordinator was good. She made me feel safe and went with me to get a Protection Order and get my money sorted out at WINZ. It was good to stay somewhere that was warm and we didn’t have to worry all the time. I stayed with Refuge for about six weeks till I found my own place and they helped me out with furniture and house stuff. My partner is in prison at the moment but I know I’m strong enough now to keep me and my boy safe from him. Before, I used to think he could do whatever he wanted to me and baby, but now I know that’s not true”

– Karen

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