Frequently Asked Questions
What is a refuge ?
A refuge is a safe place for women, men and children who are unable to stay safely in their homes because they are being abused (whether physically, sexually or emotionally) or are at risk of abuse.
There are now over 200 refuges in England for women, and refuge accommodation for men is also available.
Who can go ?
Any women or man who needs to, due to experiencing, or being at risk of domestic abuse.
How do I get there ?
You can contact West Lincolnshire Domestic Abuse Service on 01522 510041 (8.30-8.30) or
through the Police at any time,
through the Social Services Emergency Duty Team after 5pm.
How long can I stay ?
As long as you need – anything from a few days to several months
What about the children ?
Your children need not miss any schooling as children can attend local schools.
What do I do for money ?
Once you have left home you can claim benefits for yourself and any children you have with you. The local DWP (JobCentreplus) office is very supportive and will try to make sure you have enough money to live on. Refuges usually provide you with small food packages, and everything you need in order to ensure you have what you need for at least your first few days.
What advice is available ?
West Lincolnshire Domestic Abuse Service can help women in our refuge claim benefits and can give information on housing options and have access to legal advice. We can help men to claim benefits, access housing & legal advice on a floating support basis. For example, you may decide to get an injunction, begin divorce proceedings or apply for the custody of your children. We can arrange an appointment and support you in seeking advice from a sympathetic solicitor. You could return home with an injunction (a court order to protect you) or you could get re-housed in West Lindsey by the Council. Our service is completely designed around you, so whatever your needs, we will support you in any way we can.
But all I want is a break !
Many women come to the refuge because they need breathing space and time to think. Some women decide to return home after this period. Unfortunately, refuge space for men is much more limited than it is for women, however we are able to discuss through your options with you if you decide that you want a break – whether that is in refuge or not.
Can I go back to the refuge after I have left it ?
Yes, you can return to another refuge, if you need refuge again.
You can contact us for advice and support from us on 01522 510041.
What about safety – I’m afraid my abuser will find me.
You can access refuges through us as near or as far away as you want.
Refuge addresses are kept as confidential as possible to ensure the safety of the women, men and children using them.
I don’t want to go into a refuge. I just want to talk to somebody.
We offer support to women and men who don’t want to come into the refuge but do want to talk. We can do this by phone or at any suitable safe place, including our WLDAS centre which is located in Gainsborough.