Pool party fun hosted by Women’s Refuge

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - TA­MARA THORN

Toko­roa Women’s Sup­port Cen­tre and Refuge is hold­ing a pool party as part of Na­tional Women’s Refuge Ap­peal Month.

The cen­tre has de­cided to make a splash on Fri­day next week [11am -1pm] by invit­ing fam­i­lies to the In­door Pools for a swim and a Sausage Siz­zle.

‘‘We are fo­cus­ing on the chil­dren and this is why we have hired the Heated Pool in Toko­roa, to en­cour­age pos­i­tive fam­ily ac­tiv­i­ties.’’

The refuge re­ceives over 900 re­ports of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence ev­ery year, co­or­di­na­tor Melissa Ward said.

Her team works five days a week with fam­i­lies in the com­mu­nity, ei­ther do­ing home vis­its, phone calls, walk in ses­sions and cof­fee clubs meet­ings.

‘‘Some­times a phone call is enough,’’ she said ‘‘It just lets them know we are here.’’

Ward said the refuge also works with men, due to the in­crease in do­mes­tic vi­o­lence against men.

‘‘We will work with the dads and use the same the­ory,’’ she said.

How­ever Ward said kids are the main pri­or­ity.

Along with sup­port­ing fam­i­lies emo­tion­ally, Women’s Refuge also helps with phys­i­cal bar­ri­ers such as cloth­ing, blan­kets and fur­ni­ture when a client has to move out of their home ur­gently.

Cloth­ing co­or­di­na­tor Heather Ratu, said ev­ery­thing they store away is do­nated by gen­er­ous peo­ple and lo­cal busi­nesses.

Ward said more women are ask­ing for help and sup­port in the early stages.

‘‘Peo­ple are start­ing to be more aware that help is out there,’’ she said.

‘‘There are more suc­cess sto­ries com­ing out and we couldn’t do it with­out the help of the com­mu­nity.’’

Ward’s goal is to ed­u­cate women about their safety, and ac­knowl­edge that the cen­tre is avail­able to fam­i­lies who are vic­tims of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence within the South Waikato dis­tricts.

She said within the job there are al­ways ‘‘testers’’ as ev­ery sit­u­a­tion is dif­fer­ent, but deep down they have to be strong for the client.

Women’s Refuge Toko­roa ap­peal week will be held from July 14-21.

‘‘This is the sec­ond year we have held a pool party and we are hop­ing for the same suc­cess as the pre­vi­ous year.’’

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