Gender-based violence services

All of Refuge’s staff are experts in supporting women in all forms of gender-based violence. However, Refuge also runs services that are specifically aimed at women who have experienced other forms of abuse (sexual violence, forced marriage, ‘honour’-based violence, human trafficking and modern slavery, and FGM) separate from, or in addition to, domestic violence.

There is often an overlap between domestic violence and other forms of abuse – at Refuge’s gender-based violence services, women can find support suited to their full range of needs.

gender based violence thumb 250What is gender-based violence?

Gender-based violence is violence that is directed against a person on the basis of gender. It is mostly inflicted by men on women and girls. Types of gender-based violence include: domestic violence; rape and sexual assault; stalking; human trafficking and modern slavery; female genital mutilation (FGM); forced marriage; and so-called ‘honour’-based violence. Find out more about the different forms here.

support for SV victims thumb 250Support for survivors of sexual violence

Sexual violence includes any form of sexual activity (involving physical contact, words, or photographs) that takes place without the other person’s full and informed consent. Refuge runs specialist services specifically for women, men and young people who have experienced sexual violence. Find out more about them here, and more about sexual violence – including, the myths, the facts and consent – here.

Tailored services for all women

Refuge’s services range from safe emergency accommodation, to community outreach projects, to independent advocates who can support women through the criminal justice system. Every service is equipped to support all women, whatever form of gender-based violence they have experienced. Find out more about Refuge’s services here, and get support and information here.


Spotlight on: Refuge-Redbridge VAWG service

Redbridge VAWG thubThe Redbridge Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) service supports clients experiencing all forms of abuse including domestic violence, sexual violence and sexual exploitation including human trafficking and modern slavery, stalking and harassment, female genital mutilation, forced marriage and so-called ‘honour’-based violence.

It provides confidential, non-judgmental, independent support on a one-to-one or group basis. Staff work with clients to create a tailor-made safety and support plan, which might include goals around personal safety, safe housing options or contacting the police. The service also runs group sessions and a peer support scheme to help reduce isolation, build social networks and support clients to regain control of their lives.

The team has also set up an early intervention group which works with young women aged 14-17 who are at risk of violence and exploitation. This work might be gang-related, or in relation to abuse experienced from families or boyfriends. By reaching young women early, Refuge can reduce a young person’s experience of violence before the abuse reaches crisis point. At Refuge, we don’t just wait for victims to find us; we are skilled at finding creative ways to reach those who need support through community networks. This work is particularly important when reaching out to young people.

To access the Redbridge VAWG service: Telephone 0800 169 7759 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm) or email