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Life in Refuge

On arrival at refuge you will be allocated a Family Resource Worker to help you with the emotional and practical issues you may be experiencing. The type and intensity of support will always be women centred and all workers will carry out individual support plans to ensure all her needs are addressed.

Recovering from domestic abuse is a process which begins with a woman coming into refuge and having the opportunity to start recovering from her experiences. We provide in-house meetings regularly which allow all women within refuge to come together. On-going one to one support sessions also form a large part of the support women receive while in refuge with help and advice provided on various topics. These could inculde securing permanent accommodation, benefit entitlement, debt advice, parenting issues, legal advice and/or health and well-being. Women are actively encouraged to re-gain control over their lives with the support of workers.

Issues around confidentiality are of paramount importance and therefore women and children are not allowed to disclose the address of a refuge. An ooccupancy agreement is signed to ensure that their stay in refuge is comfortable and safe. Other relevant paperwork is also completed on arrival for example, housing benefit forms, risk assessment and safety plans.

Once in refuge women are shown how to access the local shops, doctor's surgery, library, etc so that they can familiarise themselves with the local area. Within refuge women are encouraged to go about their daily lives, taking children to school and nursery and going to work with the support of workers (if needed).

The length of time a woman and her children stay within refuge accommodation varies depending on the area she is looking to be re-housed in, the size of apartment that she requires as well as the availability of housing stock within each locality. In general there is no average length of stay although women can be with us from 3 months to over a year in some cases.

Workers are available during office hours to offer support and information and we also provide an on-call service for women in refuge who can always contact a worker outwith office hours. This service is available from 5pm to 10am the following morning, seven days a week.

GWA believes that children and young people as well as their mothers need support in the recovery from domestic abuse and the majority of our accommodation provides a play flat within refuge, where children can access support from our children's workers. (see Children and Young People )       


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