Here to Help

Q. What if I need a refuge worker out of hours?

If you need advice or help out of hours you should contact your local police station who will contact us.

Q. What happens when I first arrive at the refuge?

When you first arrive we will take a few details from you to make sure that we are the service that you need then you will be shown around the building and to your unit. You will find all of our staff friendly and understanding.

Q. What happens if I have no clothes/possessions when I arrive?

We understand that many women have left their home with little or nothing. We have emergency clothing and other essential items.

Q. How long will I have to stay at the the refuge?

Your length of stay is really dependent on your circumstances. Some women only stay a couple of nights or until they can return safely to their own home others apply for housing and are with us for a few months depending on the current housing situation in Darlington.

Q. I don’t want to leave my pet what should I do?

Although we do not allow pets in the refuge we do offer a pet fostering scheme. We can help find homes to dogs, cats and even rats!

Q. I am thinking about leaving my partner but have no money of my own.

There are various benefits which you may be entitled to and some can be paid even if you are working. We will help you apply for any benefits that you are entitled to and for housing if that is what you need, we can also put you in contact with legal services.

Q. What happens if the refuge is full?

If the refuge is full we will find you alternative accommodation in a nearby refuge.

Q. I do not want to leave home but feel that I need someone to talk to about my situation.

We find that many women do not want to leave their partners but find it hard to cope, this is why we offer confidential meetings in safe environments.

Q. I want to stay in my own home, how can I protect myself from my partner?

Under the Family Law Act 1996, many people experiencing domestic violence can apply for court orders against their abusers i.e.: someone you live or have lived with, someone who shares parental responsibility for your child or someone who you have agreed to marry. These orders can prevent the abusive person from entering your home. The courts can attach a power of arrest so that if the order is not obeyed, the abuser can be taken to court by the police.

If you are on income support or have a low income you may be able to get legal aid.

Domestic abuse can take many forms

The government definition of domestic abuse is:

Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.


The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:







Controlling behaviour:
is a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Coercive behaviour:
is an act or a pattern of acts assaults, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.

The serious crime act 2015 received Royal Assent on 3rd March 2015. The Act creates a new offence of controlling and coercive behaviour between intimate partners or family members.


01325 364486