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 a refuge

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.

Our refuge staff can help with a range of things:

  • Budgeting and welfare benefits
  • Accessing health services
  • Finding nurseries and  schools
  • Assisting with access to family centres and other local resources
  • Accessing local community and cultural services

  • Gaining legal advice, including accompanying women to appointments and court
  • Safety planning
  • Training, education and employment
  • Help in finding a safe new home

How long do women stay?

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. 


Moving on

We will do all that we can to make the move to your own property as easy as possible and will 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 will 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.