Some women in abusive relationships choose to escape their abuser by moving into a confidential safe house, or refuge. The information here may help you to decide whether moving to a refuge is the right choice for you.

A refuge is a safe place where you can stay temporarily if you need to escape an abusive relationship. Some women stay for a few days, others for many months.

We try and make sure that our refuge is a safe, friendly and comfortable place to stay whilst you decide what to do next. The decision to leave an abusive relationship is an extremely difficult one and the staff can talk to you about what your options are before you decide.

There is an office in the refuge where members of staff work. They will help you settle in, find out about your benefits situation, tell you about other organisations that can help you, and help you to find long term accommodation.

The majority of refuges are like any shared house in that you and your children will be given your own bedroom but share the living room, dining area, kitchen and bathroom with the other women and children that live there.

Cots and all bedding is provided although you can bring your own.

There are washing machines available and all the normal kitchen appliances and equipment including Halal cooking equipment. Each person in the house buys and cooks their own food. While you are in the refuge you will be expected to take part in looking after the house and making sure it is clean comfortable and welcoming.

Refuge accommodation is available to all women regardless of age, class, ethnic origin, disability, sexuality, nationality, religion or cultural beliefs. Also women with or without children. Aylesbury Women’s Aid may be able to find specialised refuges for women with particular cultural needs.

Thank you for being there and saving me and my son from the miserable existence we now know we were living

The service gave me a safe and welcoming home

The refuge was not like I had imagined, it was a relief to be somewhere so nice and I felt so safe.