What is a refuge?
A refuge is a safe house where women or men and their children who are experiencing domestic abuse can stay on a temporary basis. The Elm Foundation has four refuges, three for women and one dedicated to men offering a total of 25 family bed spaces.
The aims of refuge accommodation are to empower residents through support and advice to successfully move onto independent living, free from abuse.
Who can go to refuge?
Any woman or
man fleeing domestic abuse can go into a refuge at any time regardless of their
marital status, race, religion, sexuality, age nationality, disability or
whether or not they have children.
assessment will need to be carried out to ensure the refuge they are going to
is secure and a ‘safe’ distance away from any areas where their abuser has
connections. It is unlikely they will be accepted into refuge within their
immediate local area as this is where they are most at risk.
Life in refuge
The Elm Foundation refuge accommodation provides family rooms. One of our refuges is adapted for disabled access with ground floor bedrooms and en-suite wet rooms. Some of our accommodation offers en-suite bathrooms whilst others have communal facilities.
have living rooms, kitchens, dining rooms and playrooms which are shared with
other refuge residents. There are no expectations placed on residents to use
the communal facilities. You can be as self-contained or a sociable as you want
are expected to cook and clean for themselves and their children. We also have
a rota for the cleaning of communal areas.
residents are required to sign a license agreement which includes rules such as
payment of rent, confidentiality and the use of drugs or alcohol etc., to
ensure the safety of all residents.
How do I get into a refuge?
call the Freephone National 24-hour Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247
which will help you to leave your current home safely and find you refuge
be able to go into refuge on the same day you complete the referral process
which consists of providing your name, ages of any children, a safe contact
number and details about the domestic abuse. Refuge space can’t usually be
booked in advance and it isn’t always possible to find available accommodation
in an area of your choice.
accommodation has been found for you, a member of staff from The Elm Foundation
or other refuge providers will discuss with you how you can get there. They
won’t give you the address and location of the refuge until you arrive at a
If you are
in immediate danger you should contact the police by dialing 999. The police
are also able to help you find safe accommodation in refuge.