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Refuge opened the world’s first refuge in Chiswick, West London, in 1971. Since then it has grown to become the country’s largest single provider of specialist support to women and children escaping domestic violence and other forms of gender-based violence. On any given day Refuge supports over 3,300 women and children experiencing domestic violence, sexual violence, female genital mutilation (FGM), forced marriage, stalking, trafficking, prostitution and so-called ‘honour’ based violence. 

Refuge runs a national network of specialist services, including: safe emergency accommodation through refuges in secret locations across the country; community-based outreach services; culturally specific services for women from South Asian, African and Caribbean, and Vietnamese backgrounds; independent domestic violence advocacy (IDVAs) for women at the highest risk of serious injury and homicide; the Gaia Centre, a pioneering service which supports victims of all forms of gender-based violence; and the Freephone 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline, run in partnership with Women’s Aid.

Please look at their website or contact the 24-hour freephone national helpline.

Who to contact


Last updated: 09 Mar 2021