Women’s Aid refuges provide safe emergency accommodation to women and children experiencing domestic violence.

Refuges cater for women who are alone and also those with children. Length of stay depends on each woman’s needs and those of her children. Our refuges are run by and for women and children suffering domestic violence. There are currently 12 Women’s Aid refuges across Northern Ireland. Our refuges are modern, well appointed buildings. Some have been purpose built.

All refuges are well equipped to meet the needs of women and children. Refuges provide somewhere safe for women and their children to stay. Refuges allow time and space for women to think about what to do next.

All refuges employ a team of highly skilled and trained staff to respond to needs. Child workers plan an ongoing programme of play and social activities which can help children relax and get the support they need.

Many women stay in refuges more than once as part of the process of ending a relationship with an abusive partner. Refuge addresses are kept confidential to protect women’s safety. Women choose whether they wish to stay in a refuge close to their home or further away.

The 24 Hour Domestic & Sexual Abuse Helpline (0808 802 1414) can help you find suitable refuge accommodation to meet your specific needs such as location, size of room, accessibility, children’s special requirements, cultural needs etc. Some Women’s Aid groups provide move-on houses as a temporary option for women and children who are preparing to move on from living in refuge.

Women’s Aid provides support for women and children leaving refuge in the form of resettlement and aftercare services. Women are assisted in moving and settling into new homes and aftercare provides ongoing support and also enables women to support one another.

Last year, 1,058 women and 754 children were accommodated in Women’s Aid refuges across Northern Ireland (more statistics).