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Nowhere to Turn, 2017

Findings from the first year of the No Woman Turned Away project

The No Woman Turned Away (NWTA) project was commissioned by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to provide additional support to women facing difficulties accessing a refuge space. The work was delivered by Women’s Aid and comprised a team of specialist caseworkers supporting women into refuge alongside dedicated evaluation support to conduct detailed monitoring and analysis of a full year’s worth of data collected on survivors’ needs and system response.

This report outlines the fi ndings from this project, using data collected from the National Domestic Violence Helpline (NDVH) and specialist NWTA caseworkers between 19th January 2016 and 18th January 2017. During this time, there were 8,623 calls to the NDVH from survivors seeking a refuge space and 404 women were supported by the NWTA caseworkers. This report also uses data from Routes to Support (formerly UK Refuges Online), the Women’s Aid Annual Survey 2016, a survivor survey, and a series of interviews with survivors.

Accessing a refuge space can mark a key stepping stone in the journey away from abuse, but for many women the search for a space is long and diffi cult. The report highlights some of the dangerous circumstances that women and their children face when they are unable to access refuge, the inability of services to meet the increasingly complex needs of some of the most marginalised groups of women and an overall national shortfall of refuge spaces, unevenly distributed and facing an uncertain future.