Refuges provide emergency temporary housing for single women and women with children who are freeing themselves from domestic or sexual abuse/violence.  Manchester Women’s Aid has 5 refuges across Manchester catering for 31 families in total.

Who are our refuges for?
Our refuges are for single women and women with children who are fleeing domestic or sexual abuse/violence and urgently need a safe place to live. We accept boys up to the age of 16 (18 if in full time education) but we do need to assess families with boys up to 16 years.

Four of our refuges have self contained units of accommodation and several sites have units for disabled access.  We also have a Mental Health Worker and a Substance Misuse Practitioner to assist staff on site in meeting the needs of all residents.

We can provide interpreters for women who do not speak English and provide some of our documents translated into their first language. A number of our staff across the organisation can speak different languages including the Community Language Workers who speak Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu. We have spaces in our refuge for women with no recourse to public funds who are funded by local authorities.

Who are the workers?
All refuges are staffed by experienced and trained staff who provide individual support for women and children. Whilst women and children are living in a refuge, staff work in partnership with them to help develop a support plan that each individual uses to start getting their life back on track. Manchester Women’s Aid values the input of service user’s views into our service so residents are encouraged by staff to participate in house meetings, coffee mornings and other groups to get the most out of their time in the refuge.

What kind of support is available?
Residents are assigned a support worker as soon as they enter the refuge and the worker and the woman will work together to agree a safety plan and a support plan. Forms of support include emotional, practical (including accessing and applying for welfare benefits), physical and mental health such as registering with a GP or help with drug and alcohol issues, obtaining a local school or nursery place, help with accessing further education, training or work and counselling. The worker will also work with the woman to move on into a new home or move back home once safety measures have been set up.

We aim is to empower women and children and through support enable women to realise the opportunity they have created so that they can live their life free from domestic and sexual abuse/violence.

How can I contact the refuge service?
You can make a self referral into our service and our trained staff members will provide you with advice on your next step.  We also take referrals from statutory and voluntary agencies.

Phone: 0161 660 7999 Monday – Friday 9.30am – 4.30pm

Outside of these hours you can contact the Freephone 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge:0808 2000 247