Refuge Accommodation Service

Swindon Women’s Aid provides safe, emergency, temporary accommodation for women and children who are experiencing domestic abuse. The refuge offers safety and support to assist women and children overcome the negative impacts of living with abuse and to take control of their lives whilst gaining independence. If you are a male escaping violence we can direct or assist you in accessing male only refuge accommodation.

Our emergency refuge accommodation is purposely built and provides an extremely safe and secure place for those fleeing their homes because of domestic violence and abuse.

Available 365 days a year and 24 hours a day

Our refuge service operates 365 days a year and 24 hours a day. We offer an immediate and temporary place of safety with staff on the site and accessible for victims 24 hours a day.

Our experienced staff will provide you with advice, support, information and practical assistance as and when you need it from us. Our friuendly team can also provide you with the right information about your legal, financial and family, welfare, immigration and housing rights.

We provide 22 units of self-contained accommodation to suit the needs of single females or those with children. Our communal areas enable residents to meet together and join in activities if they wish and we are situated close to local shops, schools, and other amenities. We are also close to Swindon’s main transport link to take you in and around the Swindon area. 

Refuge: Frequently asked questions

Who can go to the Refuge for help?

Any woman, with or without children, who is fleeing violence or abuse from their partner.

How do I get to the refuge?

You can contact the Refuge through an agency such as Housing Dept, the Police or you can ring us directly.

What should I bring with me?

The Refuge accommodation is fully equipped with everything you need. We can also supply food, toiletries, second-hand clothing and baby equipment if needed. Please try to bring some identification.

What about money?

Once you have left home, if you have no money you are likely to be able to claim welfare benefits for yourself – and any children you have with you. Staff can assist you with this.

How long can I stay?

As long as you need. Depending upon what you decide to do, this could be anything from a few days to several months.

When can I come?

The Refuge is open 24 hours a day for emergencies.

What about my children?

At the Refuge arrangements can be made to assist children get to school so they don’t miss any education.

What legal steps can I take?

You may decide to take legal action e.g get an injunction, divorce or residence order. At the Refuge you will be given any information and help you may need and staff can put you in touch with sympathetic solicitors. Our Independent Domestic Violence Advocacy service (IDVA) can also assist you in explaining other protective measures where appropriate.

What about housing?

You could return to your own home with an injunction or perhaps find different accommodation elsewhere. Staff can give you more information about housing matters and our community outreach team can assist you in identifying other relevant agencies and services which can help you remain in your own home. Our Outreach service is confidential and free of charge.

Will the police help me?

Yes, the police treat domestic violence seriously. When they attend an incident, officers will speak with you on your own, if you prefer. If you have injuries they may bring criminal charges against your partner. Any victim deemed high risk can also access our IDVA service free of charge.

I don’t feel safe in my home town

The Refuge can put you in touch with other refuges as near or as far away as you want if you would prefer to leave the area.

All I want is a break from the violence

Many women come to the Refuge for a breathing space – giving them time to think and explore their options. Some women decide to return to their partner and try again. Our services operate 24 hours a day 365 days a year we are non-judgemental and supportive. All of our services(apart from accommodation) are accessible to both female and male victims/survivors of domestic violence and abuse.

Can I come back?

Yes – you can use the refuge for information, help friendship and support at any time or, of course, if you need to stay there again.

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Take a Tour of Swindon Women's Refuge

Take a virtual video tour of Swindon Women's Refuge, just click the play button below for a one minute tour of our refuge facilities in Swindon.