Dylan is the deputy editor of the Bay of Plenty Times.

Dylan Thorne: Refuge services deserve support

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Tauranga women's refuge manager Angela Warren-Clark. Photo/file
Tauranga women's refuge manager Angela Warren-Clark. Photo/file

We all know about the pressures the festive season can place on struggling families.

For many, the Christmas/New Year period is a time spent catching up with family and friends - relaxing and taking a summer break.

For others it can be a time of great stress - with finances stretched as a result of additional costs cropping up. Those pressures can boil over into arguments and domestic violence - especially when alcohol is also involved.

The Bay of Plenty Times Weekend reported that women and children were being taken to safe houses outside the region to escape family violence over the holiday period.

Read more: Holiday violence strains shelters

Te Tuinga Whanau Support Services Trust director Tommy Wilson says his service transported a client hundreds of kilometres out of the region to the "closest women's refuge that isn't full up and overflowing".

Staff had also been called in during their time off to cope with demand and he was calling for people "to start stepping up and taking care of our own backyard".

"When you work in this game you watch heartbreak on a daily basis and women come in here with sunglasses on because they have had the bash," he says.

The men often got drunk or wasted over the silly season "and take out their inadequacies on their partners.".

Mr Wilson says emergency housing is an issue in the city.

Much has been written about the lack of emergency housing in the city.

Last year, it was reported that the Government was reviewing the emergency housing situation.

Hopefully this will result in the situation being addressed.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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