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 we can go
over anything you are unsure about.
Remember, you are not alone.
We are here to help!