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    • #142179

      Hi I was in a refuge last year and 1 of my children had to go through being bullied and I was also bullied by a member of staff.and im needing a refuge but it’s seriously put me of and scared the hell out of me

    • #142181
      Twisted Sister

      Hi Loveable

      I am sorry that you suffered like this in Refuge, we did too, and it terrified us there, I also know other women there who left and went back to their abusers because of it. I never followed it up with Refuge, or anyone, as I was too weak to fight my way out of a paper bag, and I couldn’t do it now either, but it is something I would recommend anyway to any woman thats been through this, but equally understand if they wouldn’t either!

      There must be many Refuges that keep a close eye on this though, and many many women who experience really good support and make good allies and friends there too. I experienced really good support whilst we were there. A lot of it was very hard, and hopefully its a stepping stone to something better.

      I hope others will be along with some good experiences to share, I know there have been good experiences of Refuge posted on here in the past that I’ve seen.

      The best advice I can offer is to be prepared, keep to yourselves, and make sure you get moved to another if anything like this were to happen another time, or to get the bullies moved might be better!

      I am sorry, I know its a very hard place to be in feeling that your only way out is Refuge, especially when you’ve had such a tough time in one already.

      Do you have other options in any way? Could you be helped to make him leave? Maybe this is something you could go to Refuge for, so that you could safely go back to yours and yours childs home?

      Its still worth considering I would say, and many have learnt ways of surviving within abuse, because of abuse, which can explain it, but not to excuse it. Had you felt too scared to mention it to your key worker? This could be something that you could raise with your key worker when you arrive to ensure that channels are kept open between you to check in regularly to ensure it doesn’t happen again? what do you think? I would hate to think that you couldn’t get better for yourself because of this experience.

      Do keep posting your thoughts/worries here, and others hopefully can give some more encouragement also.

      warmest wishes


    • #142248
      Main Moderator

      Dear Loveable,

      Welcome to the forum and thank you for your post.

      I’m very sorry to read of your negative experience in a refuge. If you decided you feel able to make a complaint you would have to put it in writing to the management committee of the refuge organisation. You can read more about this in the Refuge section of our Survivors Handbook. Doing so might give you the opportunity to discuss what happened, which could help, but it is of course your choice whether to do so.

      I can understand why you feel nervous thinking about refuge again and I can’t deny that unfortunately problems can occur in shared living situations. However all refuges are run by individual services and whilst it is no doubt a very challenging time for survivors, many women report positive experiences. Hopefully a different refuge would bring a much more positive experience for you.

      I suggest talking to either your local domestic abuse service, the National Domestic Violence Helpline or our Live Chat service to discuss what’s happened previously and to get some help to find a suitable space. Talking through your concerns might help to ease your anxiety a bit.
      It might also help to read through some of the past topics on this forum where women have shared positive experiences of refuge.

      Alternatively, you could look into other housing options such as contacting your local council if it is unsafe to remain in your home due to domestic violence. You can read more about this in our Useful Links under Housing.

      Keep Posting,


    • #142266

      Hi Loveable

      It is so sad to hear that you and your son were bullied in the place that should have felt safe and restorative.

      Unfortunately, the quality of staff in dv organisations can vary and whilst many of the employees have done all of the necessary courses and gained all of the appropriate certificates, some lack the empathy and an insiders knowledge, understanding and patience needed to deal with extremely traumatised women and children.

      Here’s the “but”; I have read so many positive stories about refuges and in my experience, the staff who are no good tend to move on quickly.

      (Detail removed by moderator) I met many more lovely support workers supplied by my local authority.

      Different postcodes access different charities and refuges are not all the same.

      Can you contact yourlocal support again, explain your experiences last time and ask if they are able to support your needs?

      • #142274
        Twisted Sister

        Hi Eggshells

        I found your post very helpful (I mentioned our experiences as part of my reply)

        some lack the empathy and an insiders knowledge, understanding and patience needed to deal with extremely traumatised women and children.

        this, in particular, and I wish that all women going to Refuge would be armed immediately with some resilience to help them navigate people in general who’s behaviour is unappreciative of the traumatised women’s experiences, and therefore harmful, and what to do about it. Its imperative women realise its not them, but unfortunately, women already beaten down and fleeing the only home they know, can feel the reaction they receive is the one they deserve, and that is incredibly sad 🙁

        thank you for your helpful comments (I know they weren’t for me, but hopefully Loveable will also find them so). Sorry that you also experienced (detail removed by moderator). It is shocking, but nevertheless useful for any women going through this to realise that is not about something they are doing, but about whichever service it be, failing them instead.


    • #142271

      Hello loveable, Try not to let the past refuge and people put you off, I got bullied in the 1st one (but that was residents) although the staff there did talk about us behind our backs in not a nice way, 2nd one had a not very empathetic support worker and I ended up leaving, if you phone women’s aid explain your fears (and to potential refuges of your concerns and worries) we’d much rather you in a refuge (keep you safe) or even somewhere else where you can have phone or floating support, but not all refuges, staff or residents are the same in each so don’t let it worrying into not going 💝💖💝

    • #142293

      Hi TS

      I’m so pleased that you found it helpful. My posts really are for anyone who needs them.

      You give so much support on the forum, to me and so many others, it’s lovely to feel that I was able to offer a little something in return.

      Until I read your post, I’d had no idea that you’d had such a tough time in a refuge. I’m so sorry to hear what you went through. To other women, you are an inspiration. You’ve come out of your experiences with so much wisdom to share. Big hugs. xx

      • #142548
        Twisted Sister

        Hi Eggshells

        I missed your lovely reply! I don’t talk about much online, personally, because I am not out of my experiences and have to be careful, still have no support. Its appalling. Thank you for saying those things.


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