Seeking Safety Online
Women seeking a place free from violence can now do it safely online through The Warehouse
Women’s Refuge has teamed up with The Warehouse to launch a new tool to support victims of domestic violence seeking help, on and offline.
“We’ve noticed an increasingly disturbing trend of perpetrators using smartphones, software and apps to track and stalk women, during and after the relationship has ended. The very tools we hope would assist a woman in seeking help are being used to abuse, and we needed to do something about that,” says Women’s Refuge Chief Executive Dr Ang Jury.
The untraceable website allows victims to seek information online under the guise of browsing The Warehouse website. A victim in an abusive relationship who is seeking support or advice can safely visit The Warehouse website, click on the icon, and be provided with vital information without leaving a digital print. A perpetrator tracking a victim’s online movements and browser history will see they’ve only visited The Warehouse website.
“One of the most dangerous times in an abusive relationship is when a woman is thinking about leaving, or in the immediate time after she has left; this is a stage where offering support in a discreet way is crucial to keeping her safe.
“We have a partnership with The Warehouse where we are continually looking for ways to work together to keep women and children safe from violence, and this is a unique way that we can do this,” says Dr Jury. “Using The Warehouse’s website, we can provide another safe and secure way for victims of domestic violence to get help and advice.”
Women’s Refuge has been a community partner of The Warehouse for three years, and last year assisted The Warehouse with developing its internal policy to support any team members that may be experiencing domestic violence.
The Warehouse Group General Manager Community and the Environment Paul Walsh says, “This initiative is part of The Warehouse’s commitment to supporting our communities. With New Zealand’s largest online retail website we are proud to be able to provide a safe place for women who are experiencing domestic violence to access Women’s Refuge support without the risk of their abusers knowing.”
While The Warehouse is the only organisation currently taking part in this online initiative, Women’s Refuge hopes more businesses follow suit by introducing the tool.
The untraceable website contains information on how to contact Women’s Refuge discreetly, making a safety plan, and tips for staying safe online.