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, including:

• 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


What is a refuge?

A refuge is:
• a confidential address where women and children can go if they are escaping domestic abuse.
• 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 for women
• 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 makes.

In our refuge, you have the use of a furnished en-suite bedroom plus the shared use of the communal facilities including:

• residents’ lounge
• bathroom
• laundry room
• kitchen
• 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 can.

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 things.

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 from you.

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 being provided.
• 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 needs.

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 have.


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/ quiet 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.


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 Sessions

• 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 plan.
• 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.
• 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.

If you need a safe environment then ring 01942 262270 now or contact us by clicking here.