outreach outside bannerSupport in the community

Abused women and children need a range of services to meet their needs. Some women may not need, or may not want, to access refuge accommodation. Women may benefit instead from confidential practical and emotional outreach support in their own home or in a safe place in the community.

Leaving an abusive partner is a process. Refuge’s outreach workers support women who may still be living with their perpetrators, enabling them to develop strategies to keep themselves and their children safe, whilst supporting them to make decisions about their situation. Refuge outreach workers also support women who are planning to leave and those who have already left abusive partners to rebuild their lives.

All women and children who experience, or have recently experienced, domestic violence and other forms of gender-based violence can access our outreach service. Our outreach workers support women who are still living at home, as well as those who are moving out of a refuge and those who are already living in a new community.  Some of our outreach services also support men.

Everyone who accesses this service will have their own keyworker, who will tailor support based on a woman’s individual needs. The keyworker will meet with a woman wherever she feels safe and comfortable, whether that is at one of Refuge’s offices, at home, or in a local cafe or park. Many Refuge outreach workers also run drop-in sessions in their local communities, for example in children’s centres or advice centres.

Outreach workers may offer support with:

  • Safety planning
  • Contacting the police
  • Keeping the client updated and informed if they are going through a court case
  • Attending court
  • Help with injunctions
  • Improving the safety of child contact
  • Access to safe housing options
  • Referrals to other services
  • Building self-confidence and independence
  • Welfare rights and legal support
  • Assistance when applying for grants and loans
  • Help with budgeting, paying bills and debts
  • Resettlement skills, such as shopping and cooking
  • Finding work, paid or unpaid
  • Access to training or education
  • Discussing the effects of experiencing domestic violence

Women experiencing domestic violence can get in touch with us by calling the National Domestic Violence Helpline, run in partnership between Refuge and Women’s Aid.

Spotlight on: Derby City domestic violence service

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Refuge runs community outreach projects across the country; here we take a look at just one.

The Derby City domestic violence service provides free, confidential, non-judgmental and independent support to anyone who is experiencing domestic violence living in Derby City.

Jane*, who used Refuge’s Derby City domestic violence service, said:

“I was being constantly harassed by my ex-partner who followed me, sent unwanted emails and spread lies about me. I was referred to Refuge by the police and they made contact with me. My outreach worker listened to how I felt and really understood what I had been  through whilst in the relationship and after. She supported me through the court process, attending with me and explaining at every step what was going to happen next. It was fantastic always having her at the end of the phone to reassure and support me. I gave evidence and my ex-partner was given a restraining order to stay away from me. I do not think I could have done it without the support of Refuge and feel they literally saved my life.”

Contact the Derby City domestic violence service by calling 0800 085 3481 (Monday-Sunday, 8:00am – 8:00pm)

*Names have been changed to protect anonymity