Athena – Run by Refuge

Refuge. For women and children. Against domestic violence.


Do you feel threatened or at risk of violence?
We can support you.

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.

Our services support women and girls aged 13 and over, and men aged 16 or over – including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or are unsure of their sexuality. The Athena service also supports transgender clients who identify as male, female, as another gender, or are questioning their gender identity.

What is gender-based violence?

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
• Trafficking for sexual exploitation
• Female genital mutilation (FGM)
• Forced marriage
• So-called ‘honour’-based violence

Who can access support from the Athena service?

Anyone living in Lewisham who has experienced or is at risk of gender-based violence and is one of the following:
• Women and girls aged over 13
• Men aged 16 or older
• Transgender and identifies as male, female, as another gender, or is questioning their gender identity

Our services are available to the above clients and their children.
We will provide support that suits your individual needs.

What support is available from the Athena service?

Everyone’s needs are unique and we will work with you to create a support plan that helps keep you 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

What services are available from the Athena service?

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

If you’re in Lewisham, call the Athena Service on

0800 112 4052

or email

In an emergency, always call 999