Specialist refuge

Aims of the project

This innovative project provides pan-London, specialist emergency accommodation and support services to vulnerable women and children affected by sexual and domestic violence wit mental health needs, problematic substance abuse and for women exiting prostitution or with no recourse to public funds.

These services provide dedicated, temporary accommodation and work intensively with women to improve their safety and enable them to exit violent and abusive relationships and situations.

The Network partnership consists of Ashiana Network, Solace Women’s Aid and nia project; all have a substantial experience and expertise in delivering specialist Domestic and Sexual Violence services.

The Network will provide dedicated, safe, temporary accommodation across three schemes and work intensively with women to improve safety and enable them to exit violent and abusive relationships/situations.

More information

nia provides a 6 bed refuge to accommodate women with complex issues of violence and problematic substance use and women exiting prostitution. They may have mental health problems and complex needs including dial diagnosis, learned survival and coping strategies which can lead to difficulties in them accessing and benefitting from services, criminal records, experience of street homelessness and frequently been excluded from other services, including refuges. The aim is to provide a safe place that accepts women as they are whilst supporting them to identify goals and find ways of moving forward and away from the multiple harms they live with.

Solace Women’s Aid provides an 8 bed refuge to accommodate women with complex/mental health needs and women exiting prostitution. Through individual support plans support is provided individually and in groups addressing safety, harm reduction and recovery from problematic substance use. The refuge provides a 24-hour service, with community-based outreach and advocacy also available. Specialist parenting support is also available. Solace supports women to understand their experiences and move towards healthy relationships and safe, independent lives free from abuse.

Ashiana is the Lead Partner in this project. They offer 4 bed-spaces for women with no recourse to public funds and their aim is to support them with their housing, welfare and resolving their immigration status. Their aim is to provide a safe place that accepts women as they are whilst supporting
them to identify goals and find ways of moving forward and away from the multiple harms they live with.

As a partnership the three organisations provide an outreach service, supporting and enabling women with these needs to access other refuge accommodation, deliver training and awareness raising workshops at forums and agencies across London, focusing particularly on boroughs that have limited services.

They aim to work intensively with women to support them to:

• access specialist refuges
• access treatment for substance use, harm reduction, sustained recovery
• make safer choices and successfully exit prostitution
• assess and resolve immigration status
• access move-on/resettlement

Partners

Ashiana Network – Lead Partner

Nia Project – Delivery Partner

Solace Women’s Aid – Deliver Partner

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