Waikato Womens refuge's sixth safe house near completion

By Wepiha Te Kanawa

The Waikato Women's Refuge is the largest women's refuge in the country, housing over 70 women and children affected by domestic violence in safe houses.

Ruahine Albert of Waikato Womens Refuge says, "Domestic violence has gotten worse, so we house a lot of the families that have no where else to go.  It's unsafe for their own families within the community and sometimes it's unsafe to be in this country."

Construction began today on their sixth safe house in the Waikato region.  The location of the building is confidential to protect families who are at high risk of repeat victimisation.

Te Uira Barton knows first-hand the struggles of women affected by domestic violence.  She has lived in a safe house in the past and today she volunteered for Women's Refuge.

She says, "I live in one of the transition houses of Te Whakaruruhau, part of the mahi I do, I help volunteer wherever needed."

Volunteers have been working on the project for only two weeks.  In less than a month the completion of the newest safe haven will be accessible for all women in the Waikato region affected by domestic violence.

The Womens refuge expects the house to be completed by the end of the year.