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Housing officers, social workers, health professionals or police officers may be the first person to whom a woman ever discloses her experiences. Those likely to come into contact with women who experience gender-based violence must be trained to respond appropriately and support women to access specialist services.

Refuge achieves this in several ways:

  • Through the crucial relationships our staff members build with key local agencies and awareness-raising in the community
  • Through our advocates working out of local police stations and hospitals, in parallel with the front-line staff there, providing guidance and delivering training sessions
  • Through county-wide training, where professionals across whole areas are trained by Refuge trainers

Training also increases referrals to Refuge’s specialist services, allowing more women to access the support they need sooner amd preventing future violence. Refuge and its local stakeholders are reaching more clients than ever before; between 2015-16 and 2016-17 referrals to Refuge’s services have increased by almost 70%.