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Domestic Violence research discussion

12 September, 2012

Women’s Refuge takes the lead on Domestic Violence research discussion

After attending an International Conference on Women’s Shelters earlier this year in Washington DC, Women’s Refuge Chief Executive, Ms Henare, was inspired to have Women’s Refuge hold a conference of its own.

Whānau of Tomorrow, building safer futures, is a two day conference in Blenheim on October 26-27 and is part of the commitment by Women’s Refuge to create a better future for victims of domestic violence in New Zealand.

“Despite our best efforts over the past decade or so, family violence remains a significant problem in New Zealand. Our conference will bring together some of the best global thinkers and researchers to discuss what else we can do to better respond to domestic violence,” says Ms Henare. “We also hope an event of this kind will help assess what needs to change here to get better outcomes for victims of family violence and indeed stop family violence happening in the first place."

Key speakers include Professor Michael P Johnson an Alumni Teaching Fellow from Penn State University, USA who is a world leading expert in domestic violence. He will be joined by other national and international speakers, including Marai Larasi MBE, who has extensive experience heading a UK organisation dedicated to violence against Black, Minority Ethnic and Refugee women and girls. Principal Family Court Judge Peter Boshier will also be presenting at the conference.

It is the first International Conference organised by Women’s Refuge and Ms Henare hopes to attract not only key parliamentarians to the event, but also anyone who wants to play an active role in building safer futures for families in New Zealand.

“Our conference is called Whānau of Tomorrow because we know that it’s our actions today that will lay the foundations for safer families tomorrow,” says Ms Henare.

To find out more about the conference visit www.womensrefuge.org.nz

Media contact: Kiri Hannifin 021 815519

If you are interested in attending the conference or any part of it, please email sue@refuge.org.nz to arrange a Press Pass. If you are interested in contacting any of our speakers or interviewing them prior to or during our conference please email sue@refuge.org.nz


Marai Larasi MBE is the Executive Director of Imkaan, a UK based national organisation dedicated to challenging violence against Black, Minority Ethnic and Refugee women and girls. She has gained a huge profile for her outspoken commitment to social justice and equality. Hear her thought-provoking and inspirational keynote address on Day one of our Conference and her insights from working extensively at the coalface of violence against women in the UK.

Professor Michael P Johnson has over thirty years experience as a leading figure in intimate partner violence. He is also an Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Women’s Studies and African and American studies at Penn State University USA. He has gained many academic accolades in his extensive career and is an internationally recognised expert on domestic violence. Hear his current research evidence for distinguishing types of domestic violence on Day two of our Conference

Judge Peter Boshier, has a long and distinguished legal career in New Zealand. As the Principle Family Court Judge he is known for his outspoken opinions on issues that impact on the safety of women and children. This year he steps down from this position to begin his term as a Law Commissioner. Hear what he has to say about building safer futures for our whānau and families in Aotearoa.

Professor Julia Tolmie is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, Auckland University with a 10 year history with the University of Sydney Faculty of Law. Her interests include issues that affect women in the legal system and she has defended battered women who have been charged with homicide. She is currently the Chair of the Family Violence Death Review Committee and speaks on Day two of our conference.

Professor Bob Pease is Chair of Social Work at Deakin University in Geelong, Australia. He has published more than 80 journal articles and specialises in researching men’s violence against women, men and masculinities and profeminist approaches to working with men in the human services. He was a founding member of Men Against Sexual Assault (MASA) and organised the first White Ribbon Day campaign in Australia.


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