Colchester & Tendring Women’s Refuge supports women, together with their children, who have suffered domestic abuse. CTWR offers crisis accommodation and outreach support to help them make independent decisions about their futures.
The first Refuge in the Colchester and Tendring area opened in December 1977 in response to a desperate need in the locality for a place to which abused women, with their children, could escape from their violent partners. The campaign to establish a safe haven for such women began in 1975 when a small group of feminists, horrified by the evidence which was emerging of widespread domestic violence in contemporary Britain, decided they had to take some action. Their hard work and determination paid off. Eighteen months later they opened the first Refuge in Colchester. The house was soon full and, indeed, over the next few years it was frequently overcrowded. But it offered hundreds of abused women support and safety, and over the years it has enabled many women to start a new life free from violence.
During the early days the Refuge depended heavily on committed volunteers. However, it gradually attracted sufficient funding to appoint increasing numbers of paid staff. Alongside this, the Trustees’ strong desire to meet the needs of women and children escaping violent homes led them to enlarge the range of services the Refuge offered. Today, Colchester and Tendring Women’s Refuge offers its clients clean and comfortable accommodation and a variety of professionally delivered support services. However, despite the many changes the Refuge has undergone over the last forty years, one thing has not changed. The Refuge ethos of believing women, promoting self-help and allowing women to determine their own lives remains as strong as ever. The Refuge continues to strive to create a world in which women are able to become independent in their own right.
CTWR intends to go on fighting for clients who remain among the most disadvantaged groups in the country.
Provide crisis accommodation at any one time for 21 women (and their children where necessary) fleeing from domestic abuse and violence which includes physical, mental, emotional and financial abuse.
Provide practical and emotional support to help women make independent decisions about their future.
Provide a specialist children’s department to provide support for children who have been forced to live with domestic abuse. This includes pre-school provision rated “outstanding” by OFSTED in December 2014.
Deliver outreach support to women in the community experiencing domestic abuse or violence and who feel unable to leave their partner and/or wish to remain in their own home.
Support former Refuge residents to help them rebuild their lives.
Run a range of support programmes to help women recognise and come to terms with the violence they have suffered, including one to one counselling.
Employ Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) to support women.
Colchester and Tendring Women’s Refuge totally rejects all forms of domestic abuse and any attempts to justify it.
Domestic abuse is not a marginal social issue. CTWR believes in the importance of campaigning against it as part of asserting the dignity of women and helping them to act autonomously and independently.
Believe that children affected by domestic abuse deserve the support.
Believe in equality of opportunity.
Believe in the independence and autonomy of the voluntary sector.
Where is Colchester and Tendring Women's Refuge (CTWR)