What is a refuge?

A refuge is a safe house for women and children who are escaping from domestic abuse and violence. The address is confidential and no visitors are allowed in the building. It is a place where women and children can start the next phase of their lives, whilst feeling safe and secure.  Refuge staff, who understand what the families have been through,  will provide practical and emotional support. Every woman in the refuge is escaping abuse, which often means they can share their experiences and be supportive of each other. 

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How can I access Wight DASH services?

If a woman is looking for a refuge space on the Isle of Wight they can contact our helpline number 01983 825981.  If there is a room available we will run through a referral form to make sure we can meet the needs of the woman and any children she has with her.  Providing that is the case we will then make arrangements for admission to the refuge. We are unable to provide any financial assistance with travel to the Island.  If we have no space or we are unable to meet the needs of the woman / family we will do what we can to find alternative accommodation for you either on or off the Island.

Refuge spaces are available for single women and women with children.

Community based services are open to anyone who is experiencing or has experienced domestic abuse.  Our domestic abuse advisers will need to gather some basic information from you and make an assessment of your risk and your needs. We can offer one-to-one support,  group programmes and support for children. 

Our staff can help with a range of things:

  • Budgeting and welfare benefits
  • Accessing health services
  • Finding nurseries and  schools
  • Signposting to other local resources
  • Accessing local community and cultural services

  • Gaining legal advice, including accompanying  to appointments and court
  • Safety planning
  • Training, education and employment
  • Help in finding a safe new home
  • Emotional support - making sense of your experience

How long do women stay in the refuge?

That’s quite a difficult question – women can generally stay as long as they need to, providing they stick to the terms of their licence agreement. Usually that is until they are ready to move to a home of their own.  Finding accommodation on the Island is not always easy. We encourage our residents to consider private rented accommodation rather than relying on social housing, which is in rather short supply.  When it comes to time to move on we will do all that we can to make the move to your own property as easy as possible.  We can provide assistance and support in getting furniture and other household items when you are ready to move on. We are unable to provide any direct financial assistance but can support you to access other forms of help that might be available. We can assist you with setting up utilities etc in your new home too. 


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Wherever you are on the Island 

We are here for you 

Outreach / community based support

Regardless of your situation, we are here to help you. You may still be in a relationship and have concerns about it, you may have reached the point where you want to leave but you do not know what your options are. Perhaps you left the relationship a while ago but continue to be affected by it. We can meet with you wherever is convenient. We will need to take some personal information from you and will need your consent to do that.  We will then carry out an assessment of both your need and risk and together we can work out what is the best support for you. We will never tell you what to do, we can explore the choices open to you and give you the information you need to make the best choice for you. If you would like support to attend meetings, get legal advice or attend court we will do all that we can to meet those needs to.  To find out more ring our helpline on 01983 825981.