What is a refuge?

A refuge is safe temporary accommodation for anyone escaping domestic abuse. Safer Places has 8 refuges across Essex and Hertfordshire, including specialist therapeutic refuge spaces for women with multiple needs and women with no recourse to public funding. Safer Places have refuges suitable for all genders, although because our referrals are mostly for women and children, most of our refuge spaces are for women or women and children only. 

Our accommodation includes a combination of self-contained flats; large and small communal buildings where residents have a private bedroom and share other rooms i.e. bathrooms, kitchens and lounges. In order to ensure the safety of those living in the refuge, the address of the refuge is kept confidential. 

What support is available?

A refuge is much more than a 'bed for the night' or a safe space to stay. Our qualified team support each resident with their individual needs, empowering them to make choices about their future and ultimately to live a life free from abuse and fear. Our staff work alongside clients to help them recover from their experience of abuse, providing emotional and practical support. 

Support often includes:

  • Individual Safety planning
  • Assessment and Support planning
  • Weekly support sessions with a key worker
  • Supported sign posting for support in accessing specialist agencies i.e. Mental health teams, Drugs/Alcohol
  • Free Counselling
  • In house legal surgeries
  • Information and support on applying for benefits, Debt counselling, housing
  • Family fun sessions, trips and activities
  • Domestic Abuse trauma informed awareness programmes
  • Specialist support for children

"My son and I have enjoyed our stay here. The staff have made us feel welcome and treated us with respect. We have also been on trips when kids have been on holiday planned by Safer Places. I have been on so many courses and been awarded certificates for them. I have also received counselling which has helped me a great deal. My support worker has gone out of her way to support me and my family. All the staff have been amazing. All the courses have helped boost my confidence and coming here has made me ready to go back out there to live a normal life again. Thanks to all the staff from Safer Places. Keep up the good work"

How do you access refuge?

Our Gateway team are available 24/7 to help you find a refuge place - please call them on 03301 025 811

What happens when you leave refuge?

After leaving Safer Places accommodation, survivors and families can choose to access Outreach support.

If you are in immediate danger or in the event of an emergency always dial 999