West Lincolnshire Refuge provides temporary accommodation for women, with or without children, who are experiencing domestic abuse. Domestic abuse often prevents women and children from living safely in their own home, therefore we offer accommodation which is a safe environment where a women and her children, if she has them, can stay for as long as they need to away from oppression and danger. Our refuge enables women and children to feel secure and free from further abuse.
Intensive emotional and practical support is offered on a daily basis to women in our refuge. Women in our refuge are helped to claim benefits, access permanent housing and utilise other relevant services for themselves and their children.
West Lincolnshire Refuge offers a breathing space where future decisions can be made free from pressure and fear. It becomes home for women and children while they are staying with us, and it is a place where they can rediscover their self-esteem and independence.
West Lincolnshire Domestic Abuse Service’s staff members provide a listening ear to women and can provide information on benefits, legal rights, housing, practical help and emotional support for the women. There are also specialist Child Support Workers to help and support the children throughout their stay at refuge. This support for women and children continues after residing in our refuge, if the woman decides to resettle in the West Lincolnshire area.
Refuge can also provide an opportunity for a woman to meet other women who have been exposed to a similar situation, and have also left their home environment in order to remain safe.
If a person, either male or female in the West Lincolnshire Area wishes to access refuge accommodation due to them not feeling safe in their current property, we can access other refuges throughout the country in order to maintain their safety.
What is a “refuge” ?
“Refuge” is safe accommodation where women and men who are experiencing domestic abuse can live free from abuse. If you have children, you can take them with you. Most refuge addresses are confidential. There are over 250 refuges in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland available for women – you can choose to travel as far away from, or stay as near to your home town as you wish. Refuge accommodation for men is not as widely available, however there are refuges in the UK for Men. Some refuges have space for larger families and some are smaller. Refuges can either be multi-occupancy, or self-contained.
Some of the accommodation is specifically for women from particular ethnic or cultural backgrounds – for example Black, Asian or South American women. This enables the refuge to be tailored around particular a womens’ religious and cultural needs. Specialist refuges like this are not yet available for men experiencing domestic abuse.
Some refuges have disabled access and have workers who can assist women and children who have special needs and disabilities.
Our refuges consist of self-contained family units and accommodation is usually single family occupancy, however small families or single women may be asked to share facilities such as cooking areas and living areas.
Who can go into a refuge?
Any woman or man who needs to due to domestic abuse, whether married or single, with or without children, at any time.
How do I arrange refuge accommodation?
You can contact your local domestic abuse service or women’s aid group. You can also contact Domestic abuse services through the police and social services.
What can I take with me to the refuge accommodation?
As a guide, remember to take with you to the temporary accommodation:
- Birth Certificates for you and your children
- School and medical records, including the telephone numbers of the school and your GP or surgery
- Money, bank books, cheque book and credit cards
- Keys – house, car, office
- Driving Licence and car registration documents
- Prescribed medication and vitamin supplements
- Welfare Benefit identification and your child allowance book
- Passports, visas and work permits
- Mortgage details or lease and rental agreements
- Current unpaid bills
- Insurance documents
- Address book
- Family photographs, your diary, jewellery, small items of sentimental value
- Your children’s favourite items of clothing and small toys
- Toiletries and clothes for you and your children
Not all individuals will need all of these items, and there may be some items that you would need to take that have not been included in this list, but this is a general guide. Usually, refuge’s can provide women, men and children fleeing domestic abuse with small food packages and other practical items in order to make their arrival as convenient as possible.
What can’t I take with me to the temporary accommodation?
You will not be able to take large items such as furniture with you to the temporary accommodation. Also, temporary accommodations cannot take house pets. Some temporary accommodations are equipped to accommodate small animals such as fish, mice and other caged pets. Additionally, our temporary accommodation does have arrangements with local pet fostering schemes, which would be able to arrange care for your pets. Ask us about this for more information.
What about confidentiality in the temporary accommodation?
West Lincolnshire Domestic Abuse Service understands how determined abusive people can be so we take safety and confidentiality very seriously. You and your children are assured that any information you give to us will not be discussed outside our service without your consent, except in the following circumstances:
- If WLDAS Project workers are concerned that a child may be at risk we have a duty of care to the child to pass on our concerns.
- If you present as a risk to yourself or others
However, this would not be done without discussing it first with you wherever possible.
Also, for the safety of all women and children the address of the temporary accommodation must be kept confidential. It must not be given to anyone unless agreed by West Lincolnshire Domestic Abuse Service. You must also respect the confidentiality of the other women and children in the temporary accommodation and never tell anyone that they are, or were in temporary accommodation.
An essential rule is that no men are allowed to know the temporary accommodation address or non-public telephone number, and are
allowed in our accommodation. This includes not only partners, but relatives, friends and new partners. This is essential for the safety of everyone and women in refuge will be asked to leave if this rule is broken.
The most important thing to consider about our refuge is that it is designed to keep women and children experiencing domestic abuse, safe. We strive to provide the best quality service, to enable you to feel safe and be free from abuse.