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 experiencing abuse, or are at risk of abuse from a partner, former partner or family member.
There are now over 200 refuges in England for women, and refuge accommodation for men is also available.
Who can go ?
Any woman 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). approach your local council,
through the Police at any time,
through the Social Services between 9am-5pm or the 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 / or access to local food banks., as well as the essentials you need for your first few days.
What advice is available ?
West Lincolnshire Domestic Abuse Service can help women and me in our refuges claim benefits and can give information on housing options and have access to legal advice. 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 apply to be re-housed by the local 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 ?
You can’t return to the same refuge, however we can support you in finding an alternative refuge if you need to flee again.
You can contact us for advice and support on 01522 510041.
What about safety – I’m afraid my abuser will find me.
You can access refuges through us 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 via our outreach support service either over the phone or at any suitable safe place.