A domestic abuse charity says it is too dangerous for vulnerable women to stay in Auckland boarding houses.
Some boarding houses are turning women away for fear their presence in the house could spark violence.
Shine manager Jill Proudfoot says when refuges are full women have no choice and end up locking themselves in boarding house bedrooms.
She says fellow occupants often have a history of substance abuse, crime and mental health issues.
"Their shared facilities so they have to move out and about in the house and that's sometimes really scary for them. There's really nowhere safe for them to go."
It has led to calls for there to be women-only boarding houses.
Proudfoot says the women in these situations have already been abused or are recovering from addiction issues and need somewhere safe to live.
"Often these women go back to the person who abused them. Quite often women end up living in their cars or on the street because they have not been able to find suitable safe accommodation."