Christmas here was the first I had where I wasn't beaten
Former services resident
saha refuge is a place of safety for women and children fleeing or at risk of domestic abuse and honour based violence. The service provides safe, temporary, emergency accommodation for a maximum of 6 months.
Experienced trained staff support women to gain and maintain the skills and confidence necessary to rebuild their lives and move on independently. The service has a dedicated children’s service. Staff liaise with other, external agencies if needed to enhance support.
Women/families often arrive in just the clothes they are wearing. They have to leave jobs, schools, family and friends behind them so that they are safe. We buy clothing store & supermarket gift cards out of donations when we can, to give to families when they arrive.
What is domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse is an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening and violent behaviour which can take the form of psychological, emotional, financial, sexual, harassment & stalking and online or digital abuse. It can take some or all of these forms and the list is not exhaustive.
Commonly asked question:
Why doesn’t she just leave? – the answer is not straightforward. The victim has most likely endured years of abuse, and her confidence and self-esteem have been eroded over time. The victim will be afraid of the consequences – the perpetrator may have threatened to kill her/the children and/or other family members, how will she/he will survive financially? They may feel that staying is better for the child/children, and – where will they go?
If you would like to support the work that is being done in the refuge services you can donate using the donate button below using ref: SE0770.
*All names on this page have been changed to protect identities.
Domestic Abuse Statistics - Figures from ONS 2019
Women / Families supported by the saha refuge in the last year
over 2 women are killed
Each week, over 2 women are killed by partners or ex-partners in England and Wales
over 100 calls every hour
Police in England and Wales receive over 100 calls relating to domestic abuse incidents every hour
Less than half
Less than half of all incidents are reported to the police
1 in 3
Approximately 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men will experience some form of domestic abuse in their lifetime
In the year ending March 2016, 62% of children in households where domestic abuse was happening were also harmed
The reassurance I feel is amazing, I feel supported and I feel like I’ve grown as a person, the staff genuinely care and go above expectations.
National Domestic Violence Helpline number – 0808 2000 247
Karma Nirvana – Supporting victims of honour based abuse and forced marriage.
Domestic Abuse – Getting help during Coronavirus
Advice for keeping safe:
Keep money/keys in a safe place
Keep a list of emergency numbers: police, relatives, friends, national helpline numbers
Keep copies of important documents i.e. passports, birth certificates, benefit letters (if applicable) bank statements etc.,
Plan a safe escape route
Report any injuries to your GP so that there is a record
Keep a record of all incidents (dates, times) and copies of abusive text messages/emails etc.,
(We realise some or all of the above may not be possible, depending on the level of abuse you are experiencing).
Safelives – Staying safe during Covid -19
I am so much happier here than i was living with my dad. My life is so much better now than before, like having a walk when we want and eating sandwiches outside once in a while. I am really enjoying my time in school and with my mum.
This poem was written by one of the support employees in one of the services:
I came to know the signs –
the air hanging thick
all around you
the look your face wore
before it became page-white
I dared not be light
could not smile or laugh
knew when to stay quiet
tiptoed on fine glass
until those heavy moments passed
I felt the fear then
like my mother’s
at the first sign of a different kind
when she would move from room to room
all things shiny
in case lightning struck.
*Sharon was a resident in a refuge service and wrote a letter to new residents on her experience:
Dear new resident
When I arrived in an area I had never visited before and came to a new building I was nervous, anxious and stressed.
The staff were so kind, warm and welcoming that, within a fairly short period of time i realised that i was safe and secure here. I grew in confidence and saw a light at the end of a very dark tunnel.
The staff guided me as i tried to come to terms with emotions and gave me professional advice regarding, finance, always being friendly and ‘there for me’. At a later stage they helped me find alternative accommodation.
I am now confident and secure in my own flat, I am indeed a very different person to the woman who got lost on her first trip to explore the shopping area locally, while being stressed and shaky and having to phone the staff to come fetch me.
I do hope you too, will find security, safety, comfort and experience the beginning of a happier life to come as i did!
If I could make that change at my age (83 when I came to the service – anyone can!