The Home Refuge Scheme is a free service provided by Wokingham Borough Council for victims and survivors of domestic abuse where the preparator no longer lives in the home. The council has produced a Home Refuge Scheme video which provides information about the free service and how borough residents can apply.
Some of the security measures the council can install includes door and window alarms, a flap lock letter box, video doorbell and padlocks which are tailored to the individual property and concerns of the resident to enable them to feel safer in their home.
The free scheme is available to all domestic abuse victims and survivors living in Wokingham Borough. The scheme is also available free to property owners and tenants who are living in privately rented properties including housing association and council homes.
The council’s new leader and executive member for business and economic development Cllr Clive Jones said: “No one should ever have to experience domestic abuse. Domestic abuse can be physical, emotional, psychological, economic, sexual and can include coercive and controlling behaviour, stalking and harassment. Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure especially in the comfort of their own homes and it is our priority to ensure our borough and communities remain safe for all.”
Cllr Sarah Kerr, the council’s new executive member for climate emergency and resident services, said: “The Home Refuge Scheme is a fantastic free service that allows domestic abuse victims and survivors to remain safely in their homes around their family, friends and support networks. There are many measures we can put in place to ensure all victims and survivors feel safer and supported. The scheme is easy to apply for and is available to all Wokingham Borough residents regardless of age, race, gender, sexual preference, faith, disability or financial status.”
To apply for the Home Refuge Scheme, residents will need to visit the council’s Home Refuge Scheme webpage and download and complete a referral form. Residents can self-refer themselves to the scheme or be referred by a professional such as domestic abuse services, Citizens Advice or other agencies.
Once the form has been completed, the form must be emailed back to the council. The council will arrange a visit to see the types of security measures (security survey) which could be installed at the property to make it safer. After the survey has been carried out and relevant permission has been approved, a second visit will be arranged where the council will install security adaptations to the home.
Watch the video
Watch the home Refuge Scheme video on the council's Youtube channel
Help and support available
There is lots of help and support available if you are experiencing domestic abuse or know someone who is affected by domestic abuse including:
- The Wokingham Domestic Abuse Service for victims / survivors, children and young people and perpetrator support: Contact via the website, or call (0118) 402 1921 (calls answered 9am – 5pm week days with an out of hours emergency service in place)
- The Domestic Abuse Directory to find help and support: Visit the Wokingham Borough Council website
- Support U local LGBT+ domestic abuse support: Contact via the website, or call (0118) 321 9111 (10am – 6pm, Monday to Friday)
- Kaleidoscopic UK, a local peer support service for adults and children: Contact via the website
- National Domestic Abuse Helpline (female victims): 0800 2000 247 (24 hours)
- Mankind Initiative (male victims): 01823 334244
- Male Advice Line: 0808 801 0327
- National LGBT+ domestic abuse helpline: 0800 999 5428
- Respect phone line (those worried about their behaviour): 0808 802 4040
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