A free training course for volunteers will offer invaluable skills and insight into the lives of women and children who experience the trauma of domestic violence.

Whanganui Women's Refuge manager Jo says the five-day training course - which starts next Saturday, May 14 and runs over five weeks - will lay the foundation for the volunteers to understand the impact domestic violence has on people.

"The training will give volunteers experience in advocacy and crisis response, and is an amazing opportunity to train in this specialised field," she said.

"The two trainers have worked for Refuge before and and have a full understanding of the kaupapa.


"Once the volunteers have completed the training they will be fully supported into their roles with the after-hours crisis support team."

Whanganui Refuge board chairwoman Paula Wade said the course would give invaluable skills to those who took up the offer.

"Ultimately, this training is to help keep our community safe and to enjoy living in Whanganui," she said.

The Whanganui Women's Refuge crisis support line was the only community service that was able to respond to the needs of the community 24/7, Jo said.

The more people who were able to understand the needs of their community, the more they would be able assist in the prevention of domestic violence and make a difference in the lives of those experiencing it. The volunteers will learn how to respond to crisis situations over the phone and face-to-face.

"The refuge works in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development and the Whanganui District Council to ensure our community is safe and there is a 24/7 crisis/support response line available.

"This training builds on improving the safety of women and children."

-To register for the training, email wrwhanganui@xtra.co.nz or telephone (06) 344 2204. Training starts May 14 for five weeks (except Queen's Birthday) from 9am to 4pm in the WWR offices, 76 Guyton St; lunch is provided.