Athena, Lewisham

The Athena service, run by Refuge provides confidential, non-judgmental support to those living in the London Borough of Lewisham who are experiencing gender-based violence. It opened its doors in April 2015 and provides outreach programmes, independent advocacy, group support, refuge accommodation and a specialist service for young women.

PrintIt provides the following services, all under one roof:

  • One-to-one confidential, non-judgmental, independent support
  • A specialist independent gender-based violence advocacy (IGVA) team to support clients at risk of serious harm
  • A specialist service for 13-19 year-old girls
  • Group support
  • A peer support scheme to help break isolation; build social networks and provide support clients regain control of their lives
  • Volunteering opportunities

  • Women and girls aged over 13
  • Men aged 16 or older
  • Transgender and identifies as male, female, as another gender, or is questioning gender identity

Everyone’s needs are unique and we will work with you to create a support plan that helps keep you and your children safe. For example you may need to:

  • Talk to someone who understands what you are going through
  • Receive support with contacting the police
  • Move away from the area
  • Access a refuge
  • Stay at home, but want to find out how you can keep safe
  • Receive support if you are considering going to court
  • Access legal advice
  • Manage your financial situation
  • Find out about support networks in your community
  • Get specialist support for your children

Gender-based violence is violence that is directed against a person on the basis of gender. Gender-based violence is mostly inflicted by men on women and girls. Types of gender-based violence include:

  • Domestic violence (physical, sexual, financial, emotional or psychological abuse)
  • Rape and sexual assault
  • Stalking
  • Prostitution
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Human trafficking and modern slavery (for example, sexual exploitation; forced labour; domestic servitude)
  • Female genital mutilation (FGM)
  • Forced marriage
  • So-called ‘honour’-based violence

Visit this page for more information on the different forms of gender-based violence.

If you’re in Lewisham, call the Athena Service on 0800 112 4052 or email lewishamvawg@refuge.org.uk