Women's Refuge To Open New Safe House

Jersey's Women's Refuge is celebrating its 35th Birthday by opening a new safe house.

The charity is beginning a new fundraising drive to help furnish the new place, expected to cost £130,000.

More furniture, fixtures and fittings will be bought to ensure mothers and children can have a safe and comfortable stay whilst seeking refuge from domestic abuse.

It also costs upward of £40,000 per year for security at the home.

Lisa Leventhall, CEO of Jersey Women’s Refuge says this year is the right time to stop and reflect on how the organisation has evolved since 1988.

"It’s a time of monumental change for Jersey Women’s Refuge - as the charity grows, matures professionally and most importantly, reaches more women and children who need to access its services."

A new facility will mean JWR can house up to 22 women and children at any time, and give self-contained accommodation to mothers who have boys over the age of 15, as well as those with pets.

It will also have specially-adapted rooms for women who are disabled or have disabilities.

Lisa says it enables women and children sufficient time to be ready to move on independently.

"With this move and the generosity of our supporters, we will be able to support women with complex needs; including disability, older-aged children and those with pets."

Last year the charity helped 364 women and children across all of its services, including 75 in the safe house.

The length of stay was also increased from eight weeks to 12 weeks.

Lisa says it's unfortunate that the home is still needed.

"Nothing has changed in 35 years. We go through periods where we are full and other times where we aren't.

It's unpredictable, which is our biggest challenge. But we need to be there for women and children when they're in a situation where they need protection."

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