A SAFE house in Stratford for women and children looking to escape domestic violence has been saved from the threat of closure.
National domestic violence charity Refuge is taking over the running of the property – the location of which cannot be identified for obvious reasons.
The refuge, which is funded by Stratford District Council, can support five women and their children at any one time. It is staffed by a team of expert practitioners who provide a range of practical and emotional support, helping victims of domestic violence to rebuild their lives following abuse.
The safe house, operating for around eight years, was facing closure owing to funding problems, but Refuge, together with support from Stratford District Council and Orbit Housing, have been able to secure its future.
Refuge chief executive Sandra Horley said: “I am delighted that Stratford District Council has provided vital funding for this new refuge. In 2013 the National Domestic Violence Helpline, run in partnership between Refuge and Women’s Aid, received 357 calls from the Warwickshire area. Refuge is delighted to be providing life saving services to respond to the demand in this area.
“Domestic violence is an horrific crime which kills two women every week in England and Wales. It is essential that women and children experiencing violence and abuse can access specialist support. This new refuge will help to save and change lives.”
District housing spokesman Coun Maurice Howse was pleased the vital service would not be lost.
He said: “I am extremely pleased that Refuge together with Orbit, and with the help of Stratford District Council funding, have been able to take up the challenge of keeping this much needed sanctuary up and running.
“This has been a seamless operation and the current residents will be unaware of any changes in the day to day running of the facility. Domestic violence is far too common these days, even in our rural areas, and the victims deserve all the support this refuge will continue to provide.”
Refuge already runs a network of specialist domestic violence services across Warwickshire funded by the county council supporting 18 women and their children at any one time.
Anyone experiencing domestic violence can call Refuge’s 24 hour referral number 07584 233473, or visit www.refuge.org.uk for support and general information.
Refuge chief executive Sandra Horley – “It is essential that women and children experiencing violence and abuse can access specialist support.”