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An alternative to being housed by the council is being placed in a women’s refuge. A women’s refuge is a safe house for women and children escaping domestic violence. The address is confidential, and no men are allowed in the building. A refuge is a place where women can be sure they are safe, and where they can access emotional and practical support from staff who understand what they have been through. There are no refuges in London which allow a male child above the age of 13 to stay in a woman’s refuge. Further if you have more than three children there are limited spaces available.
For contact information and availability for local domestic violence services and refuges call the 24hr National Domestic Violence helpline 080 8200 0247. The National Domestic Violence Helpline is a national service for women experiencing domestic violence, their family, friends, colleagues and others calling on their behalf.
The Helpline can give support, help and information over the telephone, wherever the caller might be in the country. The Helpline is staffed 24 hours a day by fully trained female helpline support workers and volunteers. All calls are completely confidential. There are translation facilities for callers whose first language is not English, and a service for callers who are deaf or hard of hearing are available.
For men’s refuge spaces, contact M.A.L.E. The advice line is available from Monday to Friday, 10am-1pm and 2-5pm. Call 080 8801 0327 or visit www.mensadviceline.org.uk. M.A.L.E. (Men’s Advice Line and Enquiries)
Refuges are not a substitute for other forms of temporary accommodation. The council will work with the refuge provider to consider how long a person needs to stay before the provision of other accommodation may be more appropriate.