Call our Crisis Line: 0141 773 3533

Refuge

We have a number of self contained one and two bedroom fully furnished flats in the Glasgow East area.

Refuge Living room

Example of a living room in one of our refuge flats

These are available to women, children and young people fleeing domestic abuse. We offer practical and emotional support and women can stay for up to a year while waiting to be re-housed in their own permanent tenancy.

Refuge workers will be available weekdays to offer emotional and practical support; if you require help with filling in paperwork or to know what is available locally eg local schools, health centres, leisure centres etc.

Domestic Abuse – There’s no excuse

There are many excuses given for abuse – alcohol, stress, something you’ve said or done – but excuses are just that and they’re not acceptable. We believe that no-one has the right to abuse us in any way – either sexually, emotionally, financially, mentally or physically.

We have also learned that no two people react to losing their home in the same way. You may feel relieved to be safe but might also feel anxious, confused, sad, angry and guilty. You and your children will be given the support to be able to talk about your experiences.

For more information about refuge, take a look at the Frequently Asked Questions below.

Questions about Refuge

What is refuge?

The refuge is a safe place to stay while you gather your thoughts and think about the future. Our refuge consists of 5 self-contained flats with your own front door and key. Staff are on site or nearby.

‘I thought it would be like the Hamish Allan or a hostel where you have to share but it’s not – you have your own flat and privacy.’

We know you have been through a great deal and you may still have feelings for your former partner. In refuge you will be with people who understand these feelings. You will not be judged or blamed for the abuse. Equally children and young people won’t be judged either.

‘The first night I felt safe and the weans could play without being frightened’

Who is refuge for?

Refuge is open to all women either on their own or with children. We operate a no males policy over the age of 16 (or 18 if they’re still in education). We also have an equal oportunities policy. Refuge welcomes women who may be discriminated by society because of their ethnic, religious or cultural background or because of their age, health problems or sexual orientation.

‘You get support – you’re not just dumped and left to get on with it.’

Women and children come to Women’s Aid because they’ve been abused. Therefore, it is essential that everyone including staff are free from any hitting, name calling and shouting. Please remember that you may be asked to leave if you are abusive to anyone at refuge.

‘If I want to spend hours up the shops I can, there’s no-one to stop me. It’s my life now.’

Refuges are ‘Self Help’ – what does that mean?

Women’s Aid was set up in the 1970s by women for women, children and young people. In keeping with this idea there are no wardens and few rules. Support is available from the refuge and childrens workers. There is also an out of hours on call service for emergencies.

In Women’s Aid no-one will tell you what to do. Instead we will give you information about your options. This way you can make your own decisions and we will support you in any way we can.

‘You are listened to right from the start – and not judged.’

What can I expect from refuge workers?

Our motto is: ‘women helping women helping women’.

Refuge workers will be available most weekdays to offer emotional and practical support. For example you may want to speak to someone about your feelings, or need some help with a difficult letter or phone call. They’ll go through all the paperwork with you including housing benefit to pay the rent in refuge and let you know how everything works. They’ll also help you arrange things with your old home.

They’ll let you know about local events and leisure classes, where the nurseries and schools are etc. There’s also a weekly meeting which all the women and staff attend. This is to make sure no one misses out on what’s happening and a has chance to catch up with the others in refuge.

What support is available for my children?

‘I like the house, it’s safe, no men can get in and you can talk to the worker if you are upset and you will feel better.’ – 10 year old.

Children and young people’s needs are not overlooked – as well as having a playroom and a kids club we have specially trained staff who are there to see that they too are given the time and space to feel safe and secure.

‘For me as a teenager I found it quite scary at first as it was the first time I was on my own but the flats are great and so comfortable and the workers are so easy to talk to and so supportive – so approachable – I settled in very quick.’

How long can I stay?

Refuges are temporary but this can mean anything from a couple of days to a number of months – depending on what you need. If you decide to return to your partner you can always contact Women’s Aid again in the future.

‘I thought people living nearby and taxi drivers would all be pointing fingers and saying that’s these battered women but it’s not been like that.’

Are men allowed?

No men are allowed at the refuge: We operate a no males policy over the age of 16 (or 18 if they’re still in education).

The no men rule includes relatives and friends. It’s not that we are anti-men – for everyone’s safety men are not allowed at refuge and you will be asked to leave if you do not respect this.

‘The no men rule is fair enough but it’s hard that my Dad and brother can’t visit.’

What about my privacy?

We understand how determined abusive men can be so we take safety, privacy and confidentiality very seriously. We will not discuss your situation with other organisations without your consent. However if we are concerned that a child may be at risk we are legally bound to pass on our concerns. This will not be done without discussing it with you.

‘It’s a big step – you don’t know what the future holds.’

Also for everyone’s safety the address of the refuge
must be kept confidential. You must also not tell
anyone else about other families living in refuge.

‘It’s not as scary as it seems, I didn’t know my friends could come and visit.’

What about security?

Although we have 24 hour cctv outside the flats, the refuge does not always have staff on site, but a worker is always on duty to respond to any emergency or worry that you might have.

At the refuge you will have your own door keys so please take care not to lose them and don’t give them to anyone else – again for safety reasons.

Refuge bedroom

Example of a bedroom in one of our refuge flats

Refuge kitchen

Example of a kitchen in one of our refuge flats