What is a refuge?
A refuge is a self-contained flat or house where women and children who want to escape domestic abuse can stay.
It is a place where women can have time and space to make decisions about their life, free from fear and pressure.
Each refuge is self-contained which means you do not have to share with another family. Refuge is offered to single women and to women with children. We have refuges in various locations throughout Fife.
All locations of our accommodation are confidential and we aim to help you keep as safe as possible. If you feel that you need to leave the Fife area for your own safety, we can also help you to access refuge accommodation in other areas of the UK.
Some of our refuges are accessible for wheelchair-users and we have resources available for women who have hearing and sight impairments.
You can refer yourself to a refuge directly without having to contact someone else to do it for you, although some women are referred to Women’s Aid by agencies such as the police or social work.
Life in refuge
All refuges are furnished to a high standard and fully equipped with bedding, kitchen utensils and a TV. You will also receive some basic food and toiletries when coming into refuge.
Once you are in a refuge, staff will be there to help you settle in to the accommodation and start planning for the future. Your decisions will always be respected, and the aim is always to help you find ways to be safe – and feel safe.
The amount of support you receive will be based on your individual situation and needs. You will have a keyworker who will meet with you on a one to one basis to offer support and advice on various topics, including securing permanent accommodation, benefit entitlement, debt advice, parenting issues, legal advice and health and well-being. You will be supported to re-gain control over your life.
Confidentiality is of high importance and we ask that you do not disclose the address of a refuge. An occupancy agreement is signed to ensure that your stay in refuge is comfortable and safe.
We have some refuges that can accommodate pets. If you wish to bring your pet with you, please let us know this before you move into refuge so that we can make arrangements to support you, your children (if you have any) and your pet.
The length of time you may be in refuge accommodation varies depending on the area you are looking to be re-housed in, the size of house you require as well as the availability of housing stock within each locality.
Workers are available during office hours to offer support and information and there is a support line at other times for anything urgent.
As well as their mothers, children and young people need support to recover from domestic abuse. Children in refuge will be offered support from our children’s services.
How do I arrange refuge accommodation?
If you need to access one of our refuges get in touch by calling us on our freephone number 0808 802 5555 or call into our office in Glenrothes to speak to someone.
Before refuge is offered, a support worker will undertake an assessment with you.
Factors we consider during assessment include:
- Are the areas we have available safe for you?
- Does the perpetrator or his family live or frequent nearby?
- Do you have recourse to public funds?
- Are there any other risk factors which may impact on your support?