What can’t I take with me to a refuge?
Most refuges do not have a large amount of storage space, so you are unlikely to be able to take large items such as furniture with you to the refuge. Also, refuges cannot generally take house pets. Some refuges are equipped to accommodate small animals such as fish, mice and other caged pets. Additionally, some refuge organisations have arrangements with local pet fostering schemes. Ask the staff for more information or see our useful links on pet fostering.
You will usually be able to stay as long as you need to – from a couple of days to several months – though some refuges have a maximum length of stay. Many women stay in refuges for a break from the violence, a breathing space with time to think away from danger. Some women decide to return to their partners.
However long you decide to stay, you can be as sociable or as quiet as you want to. Should you want it, there is support and advice available, but no one at the refuge will make you do anything you don’t want to do.
If I leave a refuge, can I go back?
Yes, in most cases. If you choose to leave the refuge but later need safe accommodation again, you and your children will be able to go back, either into the same or another refuge, depending on space and availability at the time you need it.
If you were asked to leave a refuge because you broke the terms of the license agreement, it may not be possible for you to return to the same house. You may be referred to refuge accommodation elsewhere, or another safe place will be found for you.
You can also use the refuge organisation for information, friendship and support when you are no longer a resident. Some organisations have outreach services, floating support or drop-in services that women and children who have left or have never gone into the refuge can use for support and contact.