12 July 2023

Contact gifts 10,000 safe nights to Women’s Refuge annual winter appeal

New Zealand energy company Contact has today announced it will match dollar for dollar up to $200,000, donations gifted to the Women’s Refuge Safe Nights Appeal.

Every day, Women’s Refuge works to help New Zealand women and children who experience domestic violence – adding up to 17,680 safe nights for the month of July admissions alone.  Each night costs $20 and means each woman and her children will receive a safe clean bed, hot meals, supportive staff and secure transport.

Contact has a long-standing partnership with Women’s Refuge and provides support by paying the energy and broadband bills for all affiliated refuges. The company also supports Women’s Refuge clients who may have bad credit scores through no fault of their own, to set up energy and broadband accounts.

Contact’s CEO Mike Fuge says by partnering with Women’s Refuge, Contact is working to build a better, safer Aotearoa for all New Zealanders, and ensure 'it's good to be home' is true for every Kiwi.

“Our support for Women’s Refuge means they can focus on their core services without having to worry about how they'll keep the lights on or their safe houses warm.”

Dr Ang Jury ONZM, Chief Executive of Women’s Refuge, says in any given month hundreds of women need the help of Women’s Refuge in finding somewhere safe for them and their children to begin building lives free from violence, and it is the generosity of New Zealand, and Contact, that helps make this a reality.

“Unfortunately, we find ourselves in another year where family violence remains at epidemic levels,” says Dr Jury. “Last year we received 52,000 referrals for service, and so far, this year, we see no sign of any reduction and are in fact expecting more. While this number is utterly unacceptable, we are heartened that women continue to reach out to us for help.”

Women’s Refuge reports:

  • Last year Women’s Refuge answered 26,000 crisis calls.
  • In the last year, 174,000 bed nights were provided by Women’s Refuge to women and children experiencing family violence.
  • 1 in 3 women will experience abuse in their lifetime in Aotearoa.
  • Nearly half of all homicides and reported violent crimes are related to family violence.
  • Around 67% of family violence episodes go unreported.
  • New Zealand has the highest rates of family violence in the OECD.


To donate to the Safe Nights appeal this July, visit: https://www.nightsofjuly.nz/

If you need help, please call the Women’s Refuge crisis line: 0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843. Number is toll free from anywhere in New Zealand for information, advice and support about domestic violence as well as help in a crisis. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


Media enquiries

Jody Bowman
Senior Communications Advisor
M: 021 029 53732
E: jody.bowman@contactenergy.co.nz

Susan Barker
Communications, Marketing and Fundraising Manager
027 403 5155


About Women’s Refuge

Women’s Refuge is New Zealand’s largest nation-wide organisation that supports and helps women and children experiencing family violence. Our vision is for all women and children in Aotearoa to live free from domestic and family violence.  This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Refuge movement in New Zealand.

Website: womensrefuge.org.nz


About Contact

Contact Energy is one of New Zealand’s largest energy retailer and generators. We generated 8.3 terawatt hours of electricity from hydro, geothermal and gas in the last financial year and have more than 600,000 customers with electricity, gas and broadband connections. Our vision is to build a better Aotearoa New Zealand by leading New Zealand’s decarbonisation journey. We believe home is the most important place in the world.  It’s all part of our long-term vision to create and contribute to a better New Zealand; from the homes and communities we live in, to the land and resources that future generations can enjoy.