We opened the first women’s refuge in Chiswick in 1971, since then we’ve opened refuges across the country.

Refuges are so much more than just a roof over a woman and child’s head.  Behind the walls of these safe houses, lives are transformed. Our expert team work with women to create tailored safety and support plans which give women the opportunity to escape violence whilst building new lives free from fear. No country, no matter how developed its response to domestic violence, has ever removed the need for refuges.

Refuges are essential, life-saving services for thousands of women and their children. Women like Terri White, editor in chief of EMPIRE magazine who recently wrote about her childhood experience of escaping to a refuge in the Pool;

“Mum told our story, mostly familiar, though that was the day I learnt of the night he strangled her on the sofa. The harried lady behind the desk softened and picked up the phone – there was no way we could go home; she would find us a place in a refuge. She called and sighed and replaced the receiver. As the panic began to turn my skin cold, she had news. She’d found the only refuge with a room for us: it was in Wales.”

The Council of Europe has long recommended at least one family place in a refuge per 10,000 of the population, yet this country has always fallen far short of this target. Between 2011/12 and 2016/17 Refuge has experienced an average cut of 31.3% to support funding for refuges. Proposed changes to refuge funding threatens large numbers of refuges, putting women’s lives at risk.

Today in the House of Commons Jess Philips MP sponsored a debate on the proposed changes and we will continue to fight to protect our services.

This #RefugeAdvent, help us ensure we can keep our refuges running. Support a Stay and you too can make a life-saving difference to the families who need our support.


Support a Stay today


For more information, and to find out other ways to support our work, or if you need to access our services, visit our homepage
Other ways you can help


We are asking our incredible supporters – supporters just like you – to get behind this campaign. Follow the Refuge Advent daily updates and please support our work along the way.

And finally – please come back tomorrow to find out what’s behind the 13th door of our Refuge Advent calendar!

Back to our advent calendar