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Women's Refuge Herstory and Street Appeal

PRESS RELEASE: For Immediate Use

Women's Refuge CE and MPs to Launch

Palmerston North Women's Refuge "Herstory"

On Friday 20 July, Merepeka Raukawa Tait, along with MPs Steve Maharey and Liz Gordon, will join others to launch a book about the Palmerston North Women's Refuge, established in 1979. The event is a chance for the Refuge to celebrate 22 years service to the communities of Manawatu and Horowhenua, and to launch the Annual Women's Refuge Street Appeal that runs from July 23rd to July 29th.

Guest speakers will also include Wendy Craig and Adrienne Baird, who first established the Refuge, and Maxine Gay, who like Liz Gordon, worked for the Refuge in the early days. The evening will be opened with a powhiri organised by the Maori Women's Refuge, Te Roopu Whakarurhau O Nga Wahine Maori. The feminist performance group, Brazen Hussies, and the belly dancing Troupe Morocco will provide entertainment.

The Herstory book will provide readers with an insight into family violence in New Zealand, and an understanding of what Refuges are all about.

The book opens with a 50 page story told by Kelly, a young mother who has experienced horrific abuse at the hand of her partner, but who managed to escape and was helped by a Women's Refuge to rebuild her life. As the opening lines warn: "This story is disturbing and shocking, but it describes an everyday reality for many women and children in New Zealand."

The rest of the book charts the development of Palmerston North Women's Refuge, from the days in the late 1970s when concerned women were taking abused women and children into their homes, to the new millennium when the Refuge is part of a network of 51 affiliated Refuges around the country providing 24 hour residential and community services to women and children.

"The "Herstory" refers to the fact that Refuge has been about women helping women- its her story" author Sheryl Hann says.

Palmerston North Women's Refuge spokesperson Kim McKelvey, says that: "We have a lot to be proud of. Refuge has helped thousands of women and children over the years. We've helped to raise awareness about family violence, but it is still going on. Family violence is still rife in our communities. We need everyone to fight this violence together, and we need support from the community to continue the work we have been doing."

The Launch will be held at the Globe Theatre in Main Street, Palmerston North beginning at 7pm. The Herstory book is for sale for $15 plus postage and packaging from PO Box 573, Palmerston North. All proceeds go to providing services for women and children.

ENDS

For more information, contact Kim or Ngarie on (06) 354 5355


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