There are refuges across the whole country to support victims of domestic abuse of all genders.

A refuge is a safe house, so the address is always confidential.

What support they offer

It is much more than just a safe place to stay. Specialist staff provide residents with the building blocks they need to begin a new life, free from fear. They help victims overcome the impacts of abuse. They also offer a huge range of practical and emotional support to the whole family, as children have often been the unintended victims of abuse.

The support may include:

  • deciding what to do for future housing – return home or make a fresh start
  • budgeting, debt discussions and accessing welfare benefits
  • opening up a new bank account because the existing one was controlled by a partner
  • finding nurseries or schools for children
  • accessing health services, including mental health services
  • accessing local community and cultural or religious help
  • gaining legal advice, including accompanying to appointments and court appearances
  • safety planning for the future
  • access to drug and alcohol support
  • getting help to apply for legal remedies so that they could return home
  • training, education and employment to start afresh

Staff also provide emotional support. They understand what domestic abuse can do to a person and help make sense of what is going on. They do not judge or tell people what to do but they guide them by giving them time and space to make their own decisions.

How to get help

Contact the National Domestic Abuse Helpline for free, 24 hours a day.

Phone: 0808 2000 247

Local 24 hour helplines:

Dorset: 0800 032 5204

Bournemouth: 01202 547 755

Poole: 01202 710 777 (can take men, those experiencing Honour Based Violence and forced marriage)

There are lots of organisations that support victims of domestic abuse.

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