A refuge is a safe house where women and children who are experiencing domestic abuse can stay to escape from the abuse. Refuge addresses are not disclosed. There are refuges throughout the country and each one is slightly different.
Here at West Cornwall Women’s Aid, we have two refuges, where we can accommodate up to 11 women and 16 children. Each family has their own fully equipped room, with a kitchen area.
Before you are offered a place at refuge you will need to speak to one of our workers over the phone. She will ask you some detailed questions to assess whether it is safe for you to come to our refuge and whether we can support you.
When you arrive at refuge you will be allocated your own worker, who will support you with practical and emotional issues whilst you are living in refuge. If you have children with you, you will also be allocated a family worker to support your children and assist you.
The most important thing to bring with you is ID, passport, and any other documentation you may need, such as:
These are all essentials but it’s important to say that here at refuge we are limited on space and are unable to store items for you, nor do we have room to store larger items such as furniture.
Although we are unable to take pets, we work closely with an organisation that offers a pet fostering service and we can give you more details about this if needed.
Sometimes this is the case, but don’t worry, we will supply you with the basics.
When you arrive, your room will have a bed ready for you to rest, with pillow and duvet. There will be toiletries in the bathroom and a variety of tinned food items, so you have something to eat.
We can also help with Food Bank vouchers and Food for Families where you can get fresh items.
If you choose to leave refuge and your circumstances in the future change, you and your children may be offered space at another refuge, but you will not usually be able to return to the same refuge once you have left. Should you have been asked to leave because you have broken your licence agreement, we will do our best to help you find alternative accommodation in a safe place or another refuge will be arranged for you.
This decision is down to you, with support from refuge staff.
Whether you decide to relocate to your new area, choose somewhere further afield, or return to the area you fled with the correct safety measures put into place, we will be there to support you.
Refuge staff will help you with any housing options and give you all the information you need to make the right decision for you and your family.
We recommend that you don’t end your tenancy on your previous property.
Do not sign any documents regarding the ownership of your home until you have taken legal advice.
So long as he is under the age of 18, your son will be allowed to come with you into the refuge.
Sadly, we cannot allow pets to stay with you whilst at refuge, but we do work with an organisation that offers an animal fostering service until the time comes when you’re able to rehouse with your pet.
Other than that, maybe you have a family member or a friend that can help you too?
If you keep a pet in your room, we will ask you to re home it. If you fail to re home the pet, we will consider taking action to require you to remove it or take steps to end your agreement to stay at refuge. We understand this is difficult, sometimes our pets have helped us through the most difficult of times, but this is something we have to be strict about for the benefit of all those staying at the refuge.
You will have a private room which will include a sink, and kitchen area. Some rooms are completely self-contained but some rooms have to share a bathroom with one other person/family.
There will be a kettle, oven and hob, fridge, and microwave. Some of the fridges in the rooms have space with a small freezer compartment at the top, just enough for a couple of items.
There is also a communal freezer room
Your room will come with:
|Bedding: 1 pillow, 1 mattress cover, 1 duvet, 2 pillowcases, 2 duvet covers for each bed
|Linen: Hand Towel, Bath Towel, Tea towel
|Bin Kitchen Essentials: Cutlery, Crockery, Pans, etc
|Chest of Drawers
|Oven & Hob
When you leave refuge, you will be supported by our Resettlement Team. There will be a handover period between your Project Worker and your Resettlement Worker, that way you won’t be alone and hopefully will experience a smooth transition.
Where possible we will help you to move and settle you into your new home.