If you are suffering in an abusive environment and need to leave, Refuge accommodation is a safe place where you can stay.
What is a refuge?
A refuge is safe and secure, furnished, temporary accommodation for those with or without children escaping domestic abuse.
Refuge offers a safe breathing space where you can access support and empowerment to make future decisions free from pressure and fear. It is a place where you can rediscover your self-esteem and independence.
EDAN Lincs has a range of refuge accommodation throughout Lincolnshire from multi-occupancy and self-contained accommodation, to specialist units and dispersed safe houses in the community.
There are hundreds of refuges across the UK and if our refuge is not available or suitable for your needs there are many others available.
What is it like to stay in a refuge?
Refuge is a home. Many refuges are ordinary houses or flats although some are larger purpose-built buildings. In self-contained or dispersed accommodation you generally have sole use of the facilities. In the majority of multi occupancy refuges you will have a room of your own and there will be shared spaces such as a shared kitchen or lounge area.
Refuge can also provide an opportunity to meet other people in a similar situation who have also left their home environment in order to remain safe.
At EDAN Lincs we provide a warm and welcoming environment for you and your children. On arrival we can organise access to food parcels from local food banks, supermarket vouchers for additional fresh items and assistance in regards to anything else you or your children may need within the remit of resources available at that time.
Refuge staff are empathetic and understanding and are on hand to offer advice and support during your stay.
These are some of the things they can help with:
- Emotional and practical support
- Claiming benefits
- Finding schools for your children
- Registering with a Doctor
- Seeking legal advice
- Finding permanent housing including making a housing application.
- Accessing support in relation to immigration issues
- Arranging support from other agencies
- Going to Court
- Access to funding streams to assist with moving on
Is there any support for my children?
Yes. Our specialist children’s workers are available to provide support, reassurance, a friendly face and fun activities so that your children also have the opportunity to process their experiences and emotions in a safe environment.
How long can I stay?
You can usually stay as long as you need to. Staff will help you to move you into a safe settled home when you leave the refuge.
How much does it cost?
There is help and support available to help with associated costs.
You usually have to pay rent but you will not need money up front. Housing benefit usually covers the cost. Refuge staff can help you to make a claim.
If you have to pay rent on the home you’ve left, you can usually get benefit for both homes for up to a year as long as you intend to return to your old home.
How do I arrange refuge accommodation?
If you wish to source refuge accommodation or just want an informal chat about the process, please contact: EDAN Lincs Refuge on 01522 510041
Mon – Fri – 8.30am – 7pm
Sat – 10am – 5pm
Email us: email@example.com
If you are currently living in Lincolnshire you may wish to consider travelling further away in order to feel safe. We can assist with this as we have access to refuge vacancies across the UK.
Outside of office hours please contact the
24 hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247
A professional working with you can make a refuge referral on your behalf. However, most refuges will want to speak with you directly in order to seek consent and discuss your referral.
How will I get to refuge?
Please do not worry! Refuge staff will explore travel options with you and provide guidance and support in arranging travel.
A person is most at risk when they leave an abusive relationship, so safety planning is key to ensuring yours and your children’s safety.
Click here for important safety advice to follow if you are considering leaving an abusive relationship.
What should I take with me to the refuge?
If possible and safe to do so, you should try to take:
- Identification – birth certificates, passport, driving licence
- Any school and medical records, contact telephone numbers of the school, GP or health visitor.
- Money, bank cards, cheque book and credit cards
- Keys – house, car, office
- Prescribed medication and vitamin supplements
- Benefit letters
- Visas and work permits
- Mortgage details or lease and rental agreements
- Current unpaid bills
- Insurance documents
- Address book
- Personal items – photographs, small items of sentimental value, the children’s favorite items or small toys. Clothes and toiletries.
If it’s not safe for you to gather these items you should not do so. The most important thing is getting to a place of safety.
The refuge staff will help you work the rest out when you get there!
What can’t I take with me to the refuge?
You will not be able to take large items such as furniture with you.
What about my pets?
Some refuges accept pets.
Our multi occupancy sites can accommodate small animals such as fish, hamsters and other caged pets. Additionally, our dispersed and self-contained properties can consider larger pets such as a dog or cat. We can also access local pet fostering schemes to arrange care for your pets. Please feel free to call our staff for further information.
Can I have visitors at the refuge?
For the safety of all residing in the refuge, the address of the refuge must be kept confidential. It must not be given to anyone unless agreed by the refuge. You must also respect the confidentiality of other individuals and families residing in the refuge and never disclose their details to anyone.
EDAN Lincs refuge accommodation cannot permit visitors to any of the accommodation provided. This includes friends, families and new partners. This is essential for your safety, that of other residents, staff and future residents. Professionals from other agencies can attend through prior arrangement with refuge staff.
Disclosure of the refuge location and address will result in your Licence Agreement being terminated.
All information will be kept confidential and will not be disclosed to anyone unless;
(1) You consent for us to do so
(2) We are required to do so by law
(3) We believe that you, or somebody else, is at serious risk of harm.
Examples where we may need to break confidentiality are in the event of a court order breach or a disclosure of harm or potential harm towards a child or vulnerable adult.
Should it become necessary to break confidentiality, where possible (i.e. it would not put you or someone else at increased risk of harm) we will explain to you the information that is to be shared, with whom and for what purpose/outcome.
Is refuge right for me?
It is very important to consider your own support requirements when accessing refuge to ensure the service is able to meet your needs and those of your children.
Things to consider:
The location of the refuge
- If you are heavily reliant on a support network (i.e. family and friends) then moving hundreds of miles away could be detrimental rather than beneficial. It’s weighing up the risks vs the benefits.
- If you or your children need regular access to specialist medical care, you might want to consider a refuge that is within travelling distance of this care.
- If you need to maintain court ordered contact then moving to a refuge hundreds of miles away without good transport links could be an issue.
Type of Refuge
- Would you benefit from a refuge that is staffed 24 hours a day?
- Do you need refuge accommodation with specific adaptations due to a physical condition or disability?
- Do you prefer to be around people or do you prefer your own space and solitude?
Our advice is to be honest with the call taker when making a refuge referral. Make sure to communicate any specific needs that you may have and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you have any.
Other accommodation options for those experiencing domestic abuse
If you decide that Refuge is not appropriate for you, there are other accommodation options for those experiencing domestic abuse.
- You may be able to access emergency accommodation through your local council, such as a hostel, hotel or bed and breakfast.
If someone is fleeing domestic abuse and there is a risk of violence they are entitled to apply to any local authority of their choosing for housing. It is not necessary to have a local connection in cases of domestic abuse.
- You may want to ask friends or family if you can stay with them temporarily, if it is safe to do so. However, bear in mind that you might be more accessible to your abuser in these circumstances.
- Private renting could be an option. For more help and information on general housing options you could contact your local council housing department.
- If you want to stay in your own home, you may want to consider an injunction to protect you and your children and to keep your abuser away.