Wycombe Women’s Aid offers emergency, temporary and safe accommodation for women on their own and women with children who are escaping domestic violence.
“So many things have changed. I feel so much more confident now and I have got my trust back. Before, I didn’t know who to trust or who to turn to and I ended up not trusting anybody. I felt like all of the professionals I was working with were against me, but when I came here I felt like there were people on my side and helping to fight for me. I didn’t have the support of my family and I felt very lost and lonely. Coming here has been like having a second family and I know that I can always phone up if I need anything”
What is a refuge?
A refuge is:
- A confidential safe house where women and children can go if they are escaping domestic violence
- A safe place where there are employees available to support women in deciding what they want to do next
How we support women living in the refuge
Women will be assigned a Support Worker who will listen to the woman’s experiences, talk with her and support her in improving things. Children will be assigned a Child Development Worker or a Youth Worker depending on their age.
Wycombe Women’s Aid Workers will not tell women what decisions to make or what to do with their life. Living in the refuge is about choices and workers will support women and work with them to help them feel in control of their own life and own decisions.
Some of the things workers can inform women about include:
- Sorting out housing after the refuge – whether this means returning home or finding a new home
- Sorting out benefits – ensuring women are claiming all the benefits they are entitled to and making the most of their money
- Legal protection – making sure women are safe and going to the court to get further legal protection if needed
- Issues to do with the abuser – there may be a range of issues women would like support on
At Wycombe Women’s Aid, women have the sole use of a furnished bedroom plus the shared use of the communal facilities, including:
- Dining room
All bed linen and kitchen equipment is provided and there are washing machines in each house for women to use.
Referrals will be accepted from individuals and statutory or voluntary agencies. Wycombe Women’s Aid will always speak with a woman directly to confirm her request for refuge space and to complete a referral form.
For women in the local community seeking refuge space at WWA, a thorough risk assessment will be undertaken because of the heightened safety and security issues, not only for the woman seeking refuge but also the guests and employees at WWA refuge. Once a thorough risk assessment has taken place, a decision is made as to whether or not it is appropriate to offer the woman a space. If it is not appropriate, WWA can support local women in securing refuge space away from the Buckinghamshire area.
For more information about the refuge or to make a referral please contact the Family Services Team on 01494 461367 (Monday – Friday 9.00am – 4.30pm).
Wycombe Women’s Aid provides a helpline for individuals and agencies. The helpline can offer:
- Emotional and/or practical support
- Information about legal, housing, welfare and financial issues relating to domestic violence
- Support to local women seeking refuge away from Buckinghamshire
- Information about making a referral to Wycombe Women’s Aid refuge
The Helpline operates Monday – Friday, 9.00am – 4.30pm. Outside of these times, a message can be left on the confidential answer phone and calls will be responded to during the next working day.
Please contact the Helpline on 01494 461367 or go to our contact us page.
Wycombe Women's Aid P.O. Box 1477 High Wycombe Bucks HP11 9HP Registered Charity No. 299946 Registered Company No. 2245478 ©2016 Wycombe Women's Aid
Refuge: 01494 461367 Outreach: 07890 456907 IDVA: 07483 159153
Asian Women's Helpline: TBC