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Warwickshire County Council commissions domestic abuse accommodation which is equitable and accessible for all

Warwickshire County Council, along with domestic abuse service provider Refuge, has utilised Government funding to offer a new way to provide safe accommodation to anyone who may be affected by domestic abuse.

Warwickshire County Council already commissions Refuge to provide emergency accommodation for women and their children fleeing domestic abuse. This new model of dispersed accommodation will build off the already well-established service delivered by Refuge, ensuring victim-survivors who may have previously struggled to access accommodation-based support, now can. Those victim-survivors include male victim-survivors (with and without children), larger families, female victim-survivors with sons over the age of 12, transgender victim-survivors, victim-survivors who have disabilities, victim-survivors with pets and older victim-survivors with mobility needs. 

This new accommodation model will offer self-contained properties dispersed across Warwickshire for victim-survivors. Tailored wrap-around support will be available for these individuals through dedicated specialist domestic abuse workers. 

Varying sizes of properties are included to meet the needs of single people as well as families, offering a safe space to rebuild lives, particularly important if children are living in the property too. With close proximity to local amenities and public transport, a selection of the properties also welcome pets.   

The decision to offer more flexible support to all victim-survivors responds to requirements of the Domestic Abuse Act (2021) and follows extensive local research which highlighted a need for equitable and accessible support.  The new accommodation will incorporate support for all and provide safe havens for Warwickshire residents and people from outside of the county in line with the Domestic Abuse Act’s requirement for cross-border support.  

Cllr Andy Crump, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety at Warwickshire County Council said: “Warwickshire has a comprehensive safe accommodation provision that has only been bolstered by the addition of the dispersed accommodation. Central Government funding has allowed for further investment into our Safe Accommodation Strategy, taking into account the need for housing units that meets wider representation needs. I am pleased to see the expansion of the support and the continuation of our working relationship with Refuge.”   

Ruth Davison, CEO of Refuge, said: “I’m delighted that Refuge has been able to deliver this new accommodation service with the help of all our partners. This new service builds on the incredible work already being done by the Refuge team in the Warwickshire community.

“At Refuge, we are committed to delivering a high-quality, specialist service which is tailored to the needs of every survivor. The new dispersed accommodation service will allow us to support survivors who need to flee to new accommodation, but for whom a traditional refuge setting may not be appropriate – such as those with older male children, large families, or pets.

“I look forward to seeing the success of this new model as it continues to expand in the coming year.”

In addition to the accommodation, victim-survivors will work with Refuge and access the wealth of support services available throughout Warwickshire. Help and support consists of: 

  • Help to link in with other professionals e.g., GP, solicitor, counsellor, carers, immigration advisor 
  • Help to make applications and fill in forms 
  • Knowledge about the local area 
  • Support with civil and criminal justice processes  
  • Someone to talk things through 
  • Advocacy 
  • Practical help e.g., accessing benefits 
  • Planning for the future – especially finding somewhere new to live 
  • Emotional support 
  • Peer support from others who have had similar experiences 

The new pilot model of dispersed accommodation will initially run as a pilot for the next two years, with ongoing reviews until 2025.  
Anyone worried about domestic abuse for themselves or someone they know can find support at Follow #YouAreNotAlone on social media.
To contact Refuge please go to or call the 24/7 helpline on 0808 2000 247.  

More information about Warwickshire’s commitment to developing this model is detailed in the county’s Safe Accommodation Strategy 2021 – 2024 and the Safer Warwickshire Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Strategy 2023-2026.  

Published: 4th September 2023