Domestic abuse charity’s Portsmouth refuge can help more women as city council extends lease

A CHARITY is able to support 100 more women as the lease on its Portsmouth refuge has been extended.

By Emily Jessica Turner
Friday, 27th August 2021, 10:20 am

The temporary refuge was opened one year ago by Stop Domestic Abuse in response to the pandemic.

The last year has seen a severe shortage of national refuge spaces and a surge in demand for safe accommodation for women and children fleeing domestic abuse.

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CEO Claire Lambon said: ‘The extension over a five year period will provide us with the opportunity to support up to 100 women and 150 children.

‘Since opening in July 2020 this refuge has supported 19 women and 28 children.

‘We have worked with our partners Portsmouth City Council to address the growing need of longer-term refuge provision within the city.

‘Lockdowns might be over however victims of domestic abuse continue to need our help.

‘Not having somewhere safe to flee should not be a barrier to women leaving an abusive relationship.

‘Stop Domestic Abuse will continue to work with our partners across multiple local authorities to recognise the importance of safe accommodation for survivors of domestic abuse.’

A domestic abuse survivor and resident at the Portsmouth refuge said: ‘Most of my life I have been abused by family members or partners.

‘Last year I came to this refuge broken, unable to take anymore, feeling suicidal but I knew I needed to escape to protect my three children from experiencing what I had.

‘I was scared when we first got to the refuge but soon that turned to relief.

‘The staff were amazing, they were there every hour of every day offering me encouragement, and giving me strength, never with any judgement.

‘I can't begin to explain the importance of having this refuge.

‘If it wasn’t for the support I received here, I frankly would not be here today.

‘Every woman and child that passes through the doors of this refuge can begin to rebuild the life they so rightly deserve, without fear and with empowerment.’

If you are experiencing domestic abuse, call the Domestic Abuse Advice Line on 03300 165112.

If you need refuge accommodation outside of the hours 9:30-5:30 on Monday to Thursday evenings call 07771 125991.

If you need to access emergency refuge accommodation at any time over a weekend or a bank holiday call 07501 378314.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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