Information for Women

Our Services

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What services do we offer?

We have a range of different services to support you with your own experience of domestic abuse. Our support is women cantered meaning that you are at the centre of the support and your thoughts and opinions are always taken into consideration.

The Crisis Support Service is a confidential service that women who are looking for information or support around domestic abuse can initially access. The service aims to provide a safe and supportive environment for women to discuss their situation with a member of staff freely and without judgment.

The support we can provide through the Crisis Support Service may include:

  • Exploring alternative safe housing options, including the provision of refuge accommodation
  • Risk assessment and safety planning
  • Referring into ongoing GWA support services for women and CYP's
  • Information on domestic abuse and your rights (legal, housing, money etc)
  • Signposting and referring to other relevant organisations
  • Emotional support, you can access this service as many times as you like
  • Support you to make safe choices for you and your children
  • Interpretation Services can be arranged if required

This is a drop-in service, so you do not need to make an appointment. You can either come into our office in the City Centre or telephone our Crisis Support Line to speak to a worker, we are open Monday to Friday 9.30am - 4.30pm.

We currently have 46 refuge spaces for women and their children throughout Glasgow. We currently provide 3 types of accommodation:

Self-contained flats which can accommodate single women and small families. Most of our flats have on-site offices to provide direct and ongoing support to women and their children.

We have a purpose-built refuge which is wheelchair friendly and within this refuge, we have two flats which are specifically designed for people with sensory, physical and/or visual impairments.

Shared accommodation which consists of communally shared flats. Each flat has private bedrooms with shared living, kitchen and in some cases bathroom facilities.

Satellite Flats which are based within local communities but with no on-site offices.

All refuge accommodation is equipped to a high standard. Women and children do not have to worry about bringing anything other than their clothes and personal belongings.

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 diverse topics. These could include 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 share the address of a refuge. An occupancy 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, doctors 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 rehoused in, the size of apartment that she needs as well as the availability of housing stock within each area. 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 out with office hours. This service is available from 5 pm to 10pm the following morning during the week, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends and public holidays.

"My stay in Glasgow Women’s Aid was amazing.  We are at our lowest when

we move in refuge and all the support I had was fantastic"

Women, children and young people can stay in refuge until they access their own accommodation.

This can be around six months or longer. Follow On Support is offered to women when they are re-housed, after having lived in Glasgow Women's Aid refuge accommodation. Women are allocated a support worker who will support each woman as she moves out of refuge.

Follow On workers are available for support and information and will help in any way that they can. Women can expect emotional, as well as practical support and women will be listened to with respect and given space to talk about their feelings in their own time.

Workers can accompany women to appointments to other agencies as needed (benefits agency, lawyers etc). Workers will also aid women in changing over their addresses with relevant agencies and support women in applying for white goods and furnishings through the Scottish Welfare Fund.

Women are also given the choice of using a Support Plan which is like the refuge Support Plan. The Support Plan relates to the woman's emotional, physical, and financial needs.

Follow On support may involve supporting women to settle within their new community by exploring services available to them in this area.

Follow on workers can also support women to find courses available to them, from academic courses to courses on self-esteem and confidence building.

The overall aim of the Follow On service is to make the transition from refuge to a woman's new home as smooth as possible.

"I am still getting amazing support even though I have left refuge, I don’t feel alone. My worker applied for a starter pack that was a fantastic help for my move in to my new property."

Outreach support is delivered in local communities in safe and neutral venues, online and by telephone and is available to women who do not want or do not need to access refuge. Women’s outreach support is available to women who are currently experiencing domestic abuse and also to those who have historically experienced abusive relationships.

Using a person-centred approach our outreach workers work alongside women to help decide what practical and/or emotional advice and guidance is required. Our support is informed by the individual needs of each woman and her experiences.

Outreach workers will assess risk and support women to identify practical and emotional safety options that feel right for her. We can provide one to one support and sign posting in a range of areas such as finances, benefits, housing, safety planning and solicitors. We also offer a range of group work programmes which can reduce isolation, increase confidence, and provide support and practical tools for dealing with the effects of domestic abuse.

We accept self-referrals and referrals from agencies.

Our Independent Domestic Abuse Advocacy (IDAA) service aims to engage with and support women at the highest risk of harm from a partner or an ex-partner. IDAA workers support women experiencing domestic abuse to identify risk and provide safety planning advice in ways that best suit their individual circumstances. IDAA workers aim to reduce risk posed to women and increase her safety in ways such as signposting, safety planning and resources. IDAA workers can work in partnership with other agencies to meet the identified needs of women and can provide an advocacy service when women feel unable to articulate or voice their needs.

IDAA workers represent the voice of women experiencing domestic abuse at monthly Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) meetings. Speaking as the independent voice of women by expressing their views, opinions, and needs. After MARAC IDAA workers can provide feedback to women on additional safety measures that have been identified and can provide further support, guidance and signposting.

While accessing any of our support services you will be invited to participate in our group work programme, which can be extremely beneficial to recovery.

Some examples of group work are:

  • Domestic Abuse Awareness
  • Living life to the full
  • Own my Life
  • Confidence Building
  • Mindfulness
  • Massage
  • Yoga
  • Arts & Craft

We are here to provide support with navigating the Court Ordered Child Contact system.

We know this might be a worrying time for you. You may be feeling concerned for your safety and that of your child. You might be worrying about having to go to court, and how you can access help. We are here to help you understand.

We have a peer support group for survivors going through the system - we know that women experienced in the process are the best experts. Call our Helpline or email [email protected] for more information or to discuss joining the group.

We also have a guidance booklet that was written by Glasgow Women’s Aid workers, and women in our services who have experienced court-ordered contact. This document is not to replace or give legal advice, however it does have a lot of legal terminology and references, so we also had a solicitor fact check what has been written. There is also an explanation of some legal terms at the end of the book which may help.