A safe home, free from fear.
We are able to provide safe housing for up to 38 women and their children in our 7 refuges in Reading, Wokingham and Bracknell.
You will have own bedroom with shared facilities with refuge staff based on site. One of our refuges provides support specifically for Asian women and their children. We are also able to access refuges spaces across the UK if staying within Berkshire is not a safe option.
Refuge provides you and your children with a breathing space where decisions can be made free from pressure or fear of abuse.
When you come into refuge you will have an initial meeting with a key worker who will show you around and give you details about the refuge. When you are ready you will discuss your needs and plan what support we can provide you and your children. Your key worker will work with you throughout your stay to support you and enable you and your family to rebuild your lives.
Questions We Get Asked about Refuge
Q. How do I get into a refuge?
A. When you call our Helpline 0118 950 4003, you will speak to a worker who will take all relevant information from you at that time. The workers will then discuss with you about how you can travel to the refuge.
Q. What happens if I have no money to travel?
A. We will support you to travel to refuge if you need it. If you have children, you may be able to collect a travel warrant from social services. We may even allow the police to bring you to they door of the refuge as long as this is a safe option for you.
Q. Will I be able to bring all my children, including my son?
A. You will be able to bring children up to the age of 18; however, we are only take boys up to the age of 17 years. There are a number of options we would discuss with you if you have an older son. If your child is over 18 and needs support, then they may be able to move into the refuge on their own.
Q. What will happen to my pet?
A. Some refuges do allow pets, however, to enable everyone to have fair access to our refuges; we have to ask women to leave their pets behind.
We do have access to the Pet refuge scheme, where you can contact them and arrange for your pet to be looked after while you are in refuge.
Q. Will my children have to move schools?
A. Your children will be registered in a school locally to the refuge. The Local Education Authority is used to families living in our refuges registering for school places.
Q. Will I have to pay rent and how will I afford it?
A. Your keyworker will assist you in making contact with the local DWP (JobCentreplus) to access benefits, including Housing Benefit. You will then pay a ‘personal charge’; which is your rent, and the rest of the rent cost will be made up from Housing Benefit
Q. How long will I stay in a refuge?
A. The time women stay in a refuge can vary. We will support you to find your permanent new home at a pace that suits you and your family but you can stay with us for up to 12 months. Most women apply for homelessness status immediately when they arrive at refuge and actively try to access alternative accommodation for themselves and their children.
Q. What happens if I go back to my abuser, will you help me again?
A. You can certainly contact us again, as long as you have not disclosed the refuge address, you can still access refuge from us. If it is not suitable that you have refuge, we would look at other options to support you.
Q. Am I allowed to bring friends to the refuge?
A. The refuge is a safe place for women who are fleeing domestic violence. No visitors are allowed on the premises without permission of the staff; such as contractors or health visitors. Anyone who brings someone back to the refuge or discloses the address would be asked to leave the refuge.
Q. I am in a same sex relationship; can I stay in a refuge?
A. It does not matter whether your abuser is male or female, we will offer you accommodation if it is appropriate.
Q. I am a man in an abusive relationship, what can you do for me?
A. We can offer you options to enable you to make choices. If you needed to be in a refuge then we would make contact with other organisations who can provide you with refuge accommodation and assist you in keeping yourself safe.
Q: I do not have Indefinite Leave To Remain – can you still help me?
A. We work with women and children who do not have recourse to public funds. Before accepting a family into the refuge, we will need to secure funding to cover rent costs and help you with day to day living costs. We will be able to accept any women who has the money available to cover her own rent and living costs. We will also assist you to access legal advice to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.