Women's Refuge says it may be forced to turn away victims because of the Government's decision to cut its funding by $700,000.
Chief executive Heather Henare says the cut, which takes effect in July, will leave less than half the previous budget for accommodating short-stay clients and their children.
She says refuges may have to turn away women or direct them to alternate services - potentially putting them at further risk.
Ms Henare says the service is already stretched, its 600 volunteers and 300 paid staff are overworked, and the decision will have disastrous results.
She says the organisation is still trying to negotiate with the Ministry of Social Development.