Crisis Response, Support & Advocacy
Supporting women, children, families/whanau in the Christchurch and Canterbury community since 1986.

About Us


Our vision:

A World where All forms of Violence are Eliminated

Our purpose:

We are an organisation that promotes and protects the rights of women, children,
families/whanau to live free from any form of violence and abuse.

Our Values:

  • Integrity
  • Self Determination
  • Equity
  • Partnership / Relationships
  • Respect
  • Mannakitanga – Tika Pono Aroha


We are an independent organisation affiliated to the National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges. We are a general refuge which means we support and provide services for all ethnic groups; we strive at all times to provide culturally appropriate services that meet the needs of whole well-being of family/whanau.

Our organisation is committed to the four cornerstones of the National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges, the cornerstones underpin our values

Our Four cornerstones are:

  • Collectivism – allowing for everyone’s voice to be heard and involved in decision making.
  • Parallel Development – commitment to tino rangatirantanga and culturally appropriate services for tangata whenua.
  • Lesbian Visibility – affirming and promoting women’s rights to sexual identity free from all forms of violence and oppression.
  • Feminism -  where the rights of women are promoted and protected.

Our History


West Christchurch Women’s Refuge was first established in 1986 as an Incorporated Society in response to the safety needs of women & children affected by domestic violence. At this time the services provided were a 24 hour crisis line and a refuge safe house, and the work was carried out by a collective of dedicated Christchurch women. We acknowledge the tireless work carried on a 100% voluntary basis by those women.

Over the years our services have developed and expanded in response to need; changing social issues; to increase accessibility to services; and for the provision of the best possible outcomes for those affected by domestic violence.

Today we are a collective with a governance board and a mix of paid staff and volunteer advocates.  Our structure, and the policies and practices we work within strive to ensure the four cornerstones are upheld.

We are committed to the highest level of professional practise – our governance board are women who come from a range of professional backgrounds; the staff team are fully supported with membership to a recognised professional body; all advocates are comprehensively trained and supported in their ongoing professional development.

We work collaboratively with many agencies, non-government and government, as collaboration is integral to mitigating risk and increasing safety to ensuring the best possible outcomes for the individuals and families/whanau we support.


Fully affiliated to the National Collective
of Independent Women’s Refuges