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Supports and empowers
against domestic abuse

Call Safer  Call Safer 01481 721999 (24/7)

It all stops here

We are a Bailiwick of Guernsey charity that supports and empowers those experiencing domestic abuse.

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We are a non-statutory and independent service and are here to help you feel safer and support you as you make changes to escape abuse. Our dedicated team offer adult and children’s services. Our priority is around safety and working on an individual plan with our clients that will support you and your children in becoming safer in the way best suited to your needs.

Who we are

Who we are

Survivors stories

Survivors stories

Safer's refuge

Safer’s refuge

Who we are

Our vision is to end domestic abuse in the Bailiwick of Guernsey and establish a society where domestic abuse is unacceptable.

Who we are

We believe that all forms of domestic abuse are unacceptable.

We are inclusive and support ALL individuals who are experiencing any form of domestic abuse.

We celebrate diversity – whether that is in your experiences, your heritage, your faith, your characteristics or your points of view.

We are sensitive to trauma and respect each individuals experience and the choice to disclose or not.

We believe every victim/survivor has the right to access support to enable them to live safely and freely without fear.

We welcome feedback and take the opportunity to reflect and learn from it.

SPEAKING OUT: Being the voice of the client when they need it most.

ACCESSIBILITY:  Providing a range of services which offer direct support to those who access our service.

FREEDOM: Developing safety and support plans with individuals to enable them to live free from abuse.

EMPOWERMENT: Working together to empower individuals to make informed choices about their future and to build resilience.

RECOVERY: Walking alongside clients on their journey to recovery in a respectful, equal and empathetic way.

Survivors stories

Survivors stories
Julia suffered for years from her husband’s psychological and physical abuse. She was with him for 20 years and during that time he destroyed her self-confidence, isolated her from her family and verbally abused her in front of her children.

As Julia reflects back on her marriage there is great sadness, and she is often very tearful as she thinks back to some of her experiences. She is open about the first time he hit her and that she thought of leaving him then, which was very early on in their marriage, but believed it was a one-off and that she should try to make it work. Importantly, she was also miles away from home and her husband was the only person she knew here. Looking back, she says there was one red flag that she can only now identify. “We always had to move around, he couldn’t keep a job, he was always falling out with people and blaming it on them. Now I realise he just wanted to control everything and everyone around him and that did not work out in other areas of this life. Once her children were born, Julia channelled all her energy into raising them. She had to ensure constant criticism of her parenting skills and being degraded in front of the children, and this had and still has, a profound impact on her life. She self-referred to Safer after she and her husband separated, She first had an appointment with one of the outreach team who, after meeting with her, referred her case to one of the IDVA’s.

The two worked together using visual resources to help explain and understand the insidious growth in control that takes place in an abusive relationship, which will have resulted in Julia being made to feel responsible and guilty for the abuse that was directed at her.

Rachel was 14 years old when she was referred to KIDVA. She had witnessed a lot of domestic violence against her mother, and it was clear she also needed support. “As soon as I met my advisor the trust was instant.  We looked at how to cope, not only for me but for my sibling.  I always felt safe with her. She never pressured me, she guided me through the sessions, and we would end up talking about what was going on and then discuss ways to deal with the situation. When I was older, I got into a violent relationship and my adviser has worked with me around healthy relationships, both in terms of friendships, family and relationships which has been good”.  Some challenges are ongoing. “I still have separation anxiety from my mum and have a few things recently that I have had to deal with but now I know not to let things build up and if I need help, I ask for it.  My advisor has been incredibly supportive, not just of me but for my whole family. She really looked after us”.

Adam came to Guernsey a few years ago with his wife, who is a local woman.  He is a hard-working proud man with a strong family values who became a victim of coercive controlling behaviour.  It started with his wife questioning his every movement, calling him to find out where he was, even if he was only minutes late from work.  It moved on to monitoring his telephone, social media and eventually taking his phone away from him. Social gatherings became difficult, with his wife constantly criticising him and accusing him of being with other women.  Adam’s only option was to leave the house until his wife calmed down. This meant hours wondering around Town with no money and the event spent some nights sleeping rough. Things eventually became physical with his wife taking to abusing him in their own home and on one occasion in front of family members, who called the police. 

The police made a referral to the IDVA service because they were worried about his safety. An adviser made contact and arranged a safe place for them to meet, which was facilitated by Adam’s employer Often victims of abuse need a lot of assistance as they prepare to leave, including help with finding accommodation, setting up bank accounts and dealing with the local authorities such as social security, income tax and housing and Border Agency if needed This was certainly the case with Adam.  Adam has now got his own home, a new job and is living a peaceful and happy life.

Safer’s refuge

A safe home, free from fear.

We are able to provide safe housing in our 5-bed refuge for women and children who are escaping domestic abuse. Whilst we are currently unable to house male victims in our 5-bed refuge, we endeavour to facilitate alternative accommodation. Safer’s refuge provides you and your children with a safe space where decisions can be made free from pressure or fear of abuse.

When you come into refuge a keyworker will welcome you and give you all the information you need. When you feel you are ready the key worker will discuss your needs and plan what support we can provide you and your children. Your key worker will provide support to enable you and your family to rebuild your lives.

 

FAQs

How do I get into a refuge?

Answer: When you call our Helpline 01481 721999 you will speak to a worker who will take all relevant information from you at that time.  The workers will then discuss with you about how you can travel to the refuge.

The refuge is available to people of the Bailiwick, which includes Alderney, Herm and Sark.

Will I be able to bring all my children, including my son?

Answer: You will be able to bring children up to the age of 18; however, we are only able to take boys up to the age of 14 years.

There are a number of options to you if you have an older son or if your son is over 18.

How long will I stay in a refuge?

Answer: The time women stay in a refuge can vary. We will support you to find your permanent new home.

Will I have to pay rent and how will I afford it?

Answer: Your key worker will discuss rent options with you and offer assistance in applying for benefits should this be needed.  This should never be a barrier to someone accessing our refuge.

What happens if I go back to my abuser, will you help me again?

Answer: You must certainly contact us if you are still in an abusive relationship, we ask all clients to never disclose the refuge address. If it is not suitable that you have refuge, we would look at other options to support you.

Am I allowed to bring friends to the refuge?

Answer: The refuge is a safe place for women who are fleeing domestic abuse.  No visitors are allowed on the premises without permission of the staff.  Anyone who brings someone back to the refuge or discloses the address would be asked to leave the refuge.

I am in a same sex relationship; can I stay in a refuge?

Answer: It does not matter whether your abuser is male or female, we will offer you accommodation if it is appropriate.

I am a man in an abusive relationship, what can you do for me?

Answer: We can offer you options to enable you to make choices.  If you are in need of alternative accommodation then we would work with you to facilitate this.

You may have other challenges and barriers that you face as an individual. You can always discuss these with your key worker who will work with you to find solutions. We understand that every person’s story is different.