Tauranga Women's Collective
One in four women has experienced domestic violence within their lifetime. On average, a woman will return to her abuser seven times before she seeks help or moves away. Why? There are many reasons – including promises of change, fear, lack of support, feelings of powerlessness, threats, or believing she’s somehow to blame.
Tauranga’s support services for victims of domestic violence do their very best to support these women and children to remove themselves from domestic violence to safety. Now, with assistance from the Acorn Foundation, they will be even more capable of providing early intervention to prevent violence from occurring or recurring.
Acorn has provided funding from 2017 to 2019 to pay for a newly created role of Frontline Advocate. This person will travel with police to emergency call-outs in relation to domestic violence. The trained advocate will immediately put in place risk assessment and safety planning to wrap safety around vulnerable families, and then a supported pathway to appropriate care for victims – including referral to appropriate social agencies such as Tauranga Women’s Refuge, Shakti Ethnic Women’s Refuge, and BOPSASS (BOP Sexual Assault Support Services). These three services will also hold an oversight role to ensure the often-overlapping client needs are addressed.
Tauranga Women’s Refuge former Manager Angela Warren-Clark says, “We have long been frustrated in our efforts to help victims of domestic violence, by the gap between that first 111 call and the referral on to our services. It only takes a matter of minutes sometimes for an abuser to uproot the whole family and move them – or to destroy a phone so that we can’t contact the victim in the morning.”
“This new role will make a crucial difference to how quickly we are able to wrap safety around these women and children, using all the resources of Police, CYF, Corrections, safe houses and medical services. This shared role makes so much sense and means we can all work more effectively. It’s a fantastic new initiative, and we are really grateful to Acorn for encouraging us to work together to find the best pathway to safety for the women and children we work with. ”
Former BOPSASS CEO, Kylie McKee says, "A truly collaborative approach that has been developed jointly from the ground up is vital to ensure full engagement, and the end result is better, quicker and more seamless services for the vulnerable people in our community."
The funding for this new role has been provided from Acorn’s Tauranga Help fund – set up nine years ago to support victims of domestic violence -- and also in 2017, from the Acorn Vital Impact Fund, J. Chappell-Mathias, B. Sutherland, C. Toop. Tauranga Police CIB Charitable Trust Fund, E. Trowbridge, and an anonymous donor. In 2018, in addition to Tauranga HELP, J. Chappell-Mathias, C. Toop, and G&J Clarke provided funding.
It’s a great example of collaboration within a charitable sector being enabled by the collective support of a number of donors, each of whom on their own would be unlikely to achieve the same outcome.