Hastings Women's Refuge is in trouble and it needs our help.

There is a real possibility that if they don't get the financial assistance they need they will have to close their doors.

That would be a disaster for Hastings, as unfortunately for the city, it is an area which has some of the highest domestic violence rates in New Zealand.

Although the refuge gets help from the Government the funding falls well short of the money needed to cope with the ever-increasing number of people coming through the doors.


Refuge manager Julie Hart said if nothing was done to "create sustainable funding, we would have to start shutting down services".

What will happen to these women then? Many of them have most likely put up with domestic violence for years and when they finally have the courage to leave there has to be somewhere safe for them to go. Somewhere with people who know how to deal with scared and vulnerable women and children.

Ms Hart said more men were also reaching out for advice and assistance, although they were not able to secure a room in the safe house at this stage.

It's an area that was not currently catered for in Hawke's Bay, though Hastings Women's Refuge were open to offering more support for male victims in future, and changing their name accordingly.

They had also seen an increase in child-to-parent violence from people in their teens and early 20s. That makes me very sad and I'm sure synthetic drugs have played a huge part in this. These mind-altering substances have a lot to answer for.

However, ultimately it's the people who are doing the hitting and bullying that are the problem. The sooner they sort themselves out the better.