Women’s Refuge comes to aid of group dealing with violent men

On Christmas Day last year, men’s welfare worker Philip Chapman decided he had had enough dealing with police safety orders.

The director of Nelson’s Male Room had spent six years sorting out a place to live and counselling for men who had been told to leave the family household because of incidents of family violence.

“After six years of working weekends, I decided I was done”, Chapman said.

When Nelson Women’s Refuge manager Diane Strong (Ngāti Tama, Te Ātiawa) caught wind of this, she immediately “just picked up my handbag, and walked over to the Male Room”, and offered Chapman around $15,000 in funding for a year’s contract.

Chapman said police safety orders were the “perfect opportunity” for some early intervention.

He said the Women’s Refuge funds were not just dealing with the orders but also provided a room at Franklyn Village as well.

“It really should be coming out of the government coffers for early intervention into family violence. The justice system should be paying for it but they’re not.”

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