Family violence can affect anyone and it happens in every community.
When family violence happens to ethnic women in Tauranga, Shakti Ethnic Women’s Support Group step in to support women and their children to stay safe.
The Historic Village will host a dinner to raise money and awareness of Shakti Ethnic Women’s Support Group.
This November, as part of the White Ribbon Stopping Violence Campaign, Shakti Ethnic Women’s Support Group is holding a fundraising dinner for the public on November 22.
The dinner will be hosted at the Tauranga Historic Village on 17th Ave at 6.30pm.
Shakti Ethnic Women’s Support Group co-ordinator Sonia Pathak says there will be awesome ethnic food, along with a silent auction.
“As well as an opportunity to raise awareness of Family Violence, this multi-cultural dinner is part of a fundraising drive to provide a new car the service to assist with essential transport needs for staff and clients to use for the sage house.”
Sonia says the need for Shakti’s support in Tauranga is vital and constant. “Shakti is necessary to support Asian, African and Middle Eastern women in Tauranga through domestic violence, we provide culturally appropriate services and all our staff are ethnic women too. There’s a huge need.”
On average, Shakti take in four to five women every week.
“Women’s Refuge do an amazing job for all women and it’s also essential to recognise that ethnic women have considerably different needs, they are very vulnerable and often need help with even being understood, due to language differences.”
Migrant women often have cultural needs such as vegetarian or Halaal food requirements, or access to appropriate places and times for daily prayers.
In addition, ethnic migrant women faces unique challenges in accessing justice and support due to migration barriers.
Further, there are also the challenges posed by cultural, traditional and religious values and practices which continue to discourage and prevent women from speaking out and seeking help when faced with domestic violence.
“Most of the time, the house is full, we can have up to 11 women and children staying. Most of the time, women have very small children with them,” says Sonia.
The dinner event will also be a launch for the new Shakti information booklet for ethnic women, “Culture-no excuse for abuse”, which will be translated into multiple languages.
Sonia will also be talking about additional new initiatives that Shakti are planning including, an information and life skills clinic two days a week in Te Puke and basic conversational English language classes.
Shakti will continue supporting their clients with driving lessons to enable the women to be more independent.
The fundraising event is $25 per head, people can book tables in advance through Shakti by phoning 579 0532, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or TMAPS 575 9709 by emailing email@example.com