Coming into a refuge
can be daunting. We understand that you have been through
an extremely difficult time and that you may be anxious
about the next few days, weeks and months.
You may be considering
coming into a refuge for the first time or you may have
been in one before. Either way, this section is a good
source of information for you about staying in a refuge,
• How you will get the support
and services you need
• How our refuge is run and managed
• The paperwork that you will need to know about
• How to get further information
ARRIVAL AND SETTLING IN
What is a refuge?
A refuge is:
• a confidential address
where women and children can go if they are escaping
• a safe place where there is staff available
to support you in deciding what you want to do next.
• a safe place to stay while you gather your thoughts,
begin to think about what you want to do next, and perhaps
even start the process of making a new life for yourself.
In the refuge you will
be with people who understand what you are feeling,
which gives you the opportunity to gain support in a
safe environment. By sharing your feelings and listening
to others you can make friends and start to rebuild
your self-confidence. In the refuge you will not be
judged or blamed for the abuse. Being in the refuge
means choosing for yourself what you are going to do
and when you are going to do it.
Keeping the location
of the refuge a secret is VERY important and so is ensuring
that the refuge is kept secure so that everyone can
relax and feel safe.
• WAVE does not make decisions
• WAVE does not encourage women to either stay
with or leave their partner. This decision is the sole
responsibility of the woman.
• WAVE will support a woman in any decision she
In our refuge, you
have the use of a furnished en-suite bedroom plus the
shared use of the communal facilities including:
• residents’ lounge
• laundry room
• dining room
When you first arrive at the refuge:
• You will be shown round the
refuge, your room and the areas you will share with
other women and children.
• You will be introduced to the other residents
(If you arrive late at night this may happen the following
day). Every effort will be made to ensure you are made
to feel as comfortable as possible.
• If you do not have any clothes, toiletries or
food, please inform a member of staff, and we will make
sure that you have food for the first 24 hours. After
that, we can help you get any shopping in that you need
or collect any personal belongings from your home if
this is what you want to do. If you wish to return home
to collect any belongings, we can arrange for the police
to go with you to ensure your safety.
Settling in/ First few days
Many people feel confused
or upset when they first arrive. However everything
will be done to help you to settle in and get used to
things. It is very important that you can feel safe
in the refuge.
As part of settling
you in at the refuge, you will meet your support worker
who will answer any questions you may have and begin
to look at how best we can support you during your stay
with us. They
• help you complete any paperwork
we need, including your tenancy agreement, a risk assessment
and management plan if there are safety issues for you
or about you, plus housing benefit and other welfare
benefit forms if you are eligible for these. It is advisable
that you wait to talk to a Support Worker before applying
for any loans or grants, as we can assist you with these.
• explain the house rules to you.
• check that you understand everything and are
comfortable with it.
Don’t worry if
you can’t take everything in at once! Staff are
on hand to answer any of your questions and e can go
over anything you are unsure about.
Remember, you are not alone.
We are here to help!
How we will support you
WAVE Support Workers will not tell
you what decisions to make or what to do with your life.
Instead, our Workers will:
• support you and work
with you to help you feel in control of your own life
and your own decisions. We know that you may feel frightened
sometimes you may feel overwhelmed. But in our experience
you can grow to feel happy and to have things to look
forward to that you have decided for yourself.
• We have a lot of experience
and information which we will use to help you find the
right path for you.
• And if we can ’t answer
all your questions or provide you with all the help
and support you need, then we now other agencies who
What we can advise you on
Some of the things we can give you information
and advice on include:
o Sorting out your housing after
the refuge – whether this means returning home or
finding a new home.
o Sorting out your benefits –
making sure you are claiming all the benefits you are
entitled to and making the most of your money.
o Legal protection – making
sure you are safe and going to the court to get further
legal protection if you need this.
o Issues to do with the person
abusing you – there may be a range of issues you
would like support on including safety planning
Your Key Worker
You will be assigned a Key/Support
Worker from among our Workers. This person will talk
with you about your experiences and agree with yourself
on an action plan outlining what we need do to improve
Your Key Worker will:
o spend time with you privately to
discuss a range of issues to find out where you would
like support, information or advice.
o This will then be recorded on your
Individual Support / Risk Management Plan.
What your support worker will need
Let them know if:
• You need help with anything
or if you have a question that needs answering
• You are worried or uncertain about something
• You want to return home
• You have a problem with the refuge, a member
of staff or a resident.
• You would like to make a complaint
• There is something you need that is not currently
• You want to move to another area
Please remember that the support workers
will do what they can to make your stay with us as comfortable
as possible. Please ensure that they are aware of your
Once a fortnight time will be set aside
for your individual support and risk management planning
session to take place with your assigned Support Worker,
although you can speak to your support worker at any time
to discuss you needs, worries or any problems you may
CULTURAL AND FAITH NEEDS
WAVE strives to embrace and celebrate
diverse cultures and faiths, and we will do whatever
we can to try to meet your cultural and faith needs.
We respect and celebrate diversity
by recruiting paid/unpaid workers from diverse professional
and cultural backgrounds and providing facilities such
as separate cooking utensils for halaal, vegetarian
and other dietary requirements. Unfortunately we do
not have the space to offer a separate prayer room/
If you have any cultural or faith needs
that you feel are not already being met, it is vitally
important that you inform your Support Worker as soon
as possible. We will try to ensure to accommodate your
needs/requirements. Our aim is to provide a safe and
enabling environment for women and children of all backgrounds.
If we are unable to accommodate your
needs, we may be able to transfer you to a specialist
refuge who may have more facilities to suit your needs,
if you so wish.
For a full list of faith organisations,
centres, clothing and food outlets, please see your
Support Worker or the notice board in the dining room.
BLACK AND MINORITY ETHNIC WOMEN
WAVE strives to ensure that women and
children from all ethnic backgrounds receive appropriate
support to meet each individuals needs.
If specialist support is required for
example with immigration, language barriers, reading
and writing, racism or any other issues you feel require
extra attention….please speak to your Support
Worker who will liaise with the appropriate agencies.
Once again, if you feel your needs
would be met more effectively in a specialist refuge
for BME women, please speak to your support worker.
Support Planning and Risk Management
• It will help you to identify
things that you would like support with.
• It will help us to provide you with the most
appropriate support to help make your stay with us be
as positive and productive as possible.
• It will help ensure that you , other residents,
and staff are safe.
• It will help us to assist in co-ordinating services
and linking in with new ones.
• An initial risk / needs assessment
will be completed before you are offered a room at the
refuge. This will help us ensure that the refuge is
the most appropriate place for you and to ensure that
you and other residents are safe.
• Your full plan will be developed with yourself
during the first week of your tenancy.
• It will be reviewed at least once a month at
a time convenient to you. However, if there are any
major changes in your circumstances, or if the risks
identified have become worse, it can be reviewed sooner.
• Between reviews, you will meet with your support
worker on a weekly basis to discuss how you are doing,
although you can speak to any member of staff as often
as you like with any queries concerns, or up dates.
• During your first week with
us, your support worker will ask you a series of questions
about your circumstances and health/well being of your
family. Your replies and any concerns that you have
will form the basis of your support / risk management
• You will be asked to sign to say that you agree
with the plan and any action points arising from it.
• Your Plan is confidential.
This means that the only people have access to the information
in it are YOU and members of staff on a “need
to know” basis.
If you need a safe environment then ring 01942
262270 now or contact us by clicking here.
• Information will only be shared with other agencies
with your written consent.
• The only other time information held within
your Plan may be shared with the appropriate agency
with/without your consent, is if we feel that the welfare
and safety of children/vulnerable adults are at risk
in any way.