Frequently Asked Questions

Common Questions Women Ask – Answered!

Can I ring or call anytime?

Bray Women's Refuge provides a 24 hour helpline service and you are welcome to phone anytime for support, information or access to crisis accommodtion if available. Although the service is staffed 24 hours every day, front door callers are not encouraged for reasons of confidentiallity – if you feel you need to speak to someone face to face, it is advisable to ring and make an appointment to meet via an outreach service.

Will staff go through a safety plan for me?

Staff members are always availabe to discuss individual needs and provide appropriate information and support and to go through any information or plans you may need clarifieds.

Will there always be staff to talk to day or night?

There are staff working in Bray Women's Refuge 24 hours a day and they are always available to listen and support you throughout the day and night.

How do I get to the refuge?

If you feel you need temporary crisis accommodation you can seek information from the refuge helpline or in an emergency you may be referred by another service or agency. The location of the refuge is not made common knowledge due to the need for safety and privacy of women and staff members. You will be informed how to get to the refuge if you have been allocated accommodation in the refuge.

Why would I need to go to a refuge?

If you are in need of crisis accommodation due to domestic abuse and do not feel safe within your own home environment, you may need the accommodation and additional supports that a women's refuge can provide. These supports include a listening ear, purposeful information and support including accompaniment and links to addional services which may be required.

How long can I stay there?

Bray Women's Refuge provides crisis temporary accommodtion and the duration of any stay can vary to meet the specific needs of the individual woman and her children until they can return to their home in safety if appropriate or move on to new accommodation.

What do I need to bring with me?

If you need to come into refuge and have been offered accommodation, you should bring personal documents and information including Personal Public Service (PPS) number and/or identification such as birth certificates, passport etc for yourself and your children. If you have any court orders you should bring a copy with you. If you have any money or bank cards etc. bring them too. From a practical perspective bring clothes and nightwear for yourself and your children, enough for a few days. If you have a baby bring the usual food and/or formula and a change bag for a few days, nappies, wipes, lotions etc. If your children have a special toy or familiar object which they need or use to help them settle at night (teddy/blanket) please remember to bring it if you can and if you or your children are on regular medication, bring it with you and the contact details for your family GP etc.

How much of my belongings can I bring with me?

Bray Women's Refuge is a small refuge of communal living and in the main each family's own space will be a bedroom, the rest of the facilities are shared with other women and children. There are restrictions on the amount and type of personal belongings that can be brought into the refuge from a health and safety perspective and from a common sense point of view.

Will I be safe there?

Bray Women's Refuge can provide safe and secure accommodation where you are encouraged and supported. There are a number of policy measures and protocols in place to provide safety while at the refuge. CCTV cameras monitor the surrounding areas of the refuge day and night.

Will my stay there be confidential?

Bray Women's Refuge has a strict policy of confidentiality and no women's stay in the refuge will be divulged to any other party without knowledge and/or permission

Who can I tell where I am going?

This is completely up to you but best practice would be to tell only one or two people if any, you can tell friends and family when you have got away, the more people who know your plans and whereabouts the greater the possibility someone may let something slip to your abuser before you get the chance to leave. Talk through your leaving plan with the staff member when you're seeking accommodation. No other agency or service, the Gardai, Welfare Officers, Doctors etc. will tell your abuser where you are if you are in a refuge fleeing domestic abuse.

Can I bring my children with me?

Bray Women's Refuge provides crisis accommodation for women and up to five children per family

Can I bring my pets with me?

The refuge is not in a position or equipped to provide accommodation for any family pets and we would encourage you to seek a caring temporary home for them with a neighbour, friend or relative before coming to the refuge.

If I need time to myself, is there somewhere my children will be cared for?

Bray Women's Refuge has a childcare Service that operates 6 days a week and your children can be left in the childcare room under the care and supervision of childcare staff with agreement.

How can you help me to support my school going children to continue their education?

Bray Women's Refuge has close links with some of the local schools who can provide a continuation of your child's education while staying in the refuge or if relocating to this area. Instructions can be made through the refuge childcare staff.

Can I stay in the refuge if I have a mental health issues?

There are no qualifying or disqualifying for a stay in Bray Women's Refuge other than you are fleeing domestic abuse and are in need of crisis accommodation. If you have a diagnosed health condition for which you are receiving treatment, we would ask you to bring your medication and attend any necessary or scheduled appointments. If it is noticed by staff that you may have an undiagnosed issue with regard to your physical or mental health that you are unaware of, this will be discussed with you and you may be asked to attend a GP or other service for assessment of any condition and receive appropriate treatment.

If I am on medication, can I bring it with me?

If you have any medication that you or your children are prescribed or use on a regular basis, we would encourage you to bring this with you if possible. You may also carry a repeat prescription from your GP for a short term supply until you can be registered with our local GP.

What facilities are in the refuge?

As you come into the refuge, there are a number of small offices and also a large and well equipped childcare facility/playroom. There is a toilet and baby changing facility off the hall. Like any family home, we have a sitting room with TV and DVD and playstation, comfy sfas and chairs, a small table, bookcase full of children's videos and books. There is a fully equipped kitchen with a dining area and plenty of cupboard space for storage, tables and chairs for families to sit and have their meals. Off the kitchen, there is a utility room with washing machine and tumble drier, fridges, freezer and the back door into the garden. In the garden there is a smoking shelter for women. Back in the refuge there are bedrooms equipped with wash hand basins and TV's. There are also two bathrooms upstairs. There is a 'quiet room' for contemplative or quiet activities for women and older children e.g. reading or listening to music or perhaps making or receiving a phonecall or having an interview with a keyworker. There is also a small staff kitchen and storage/training rooms.

Can I come and go freely while staying in the refuge?

Of course, however, within the refuge, both doors (front & back) are controlled by staff for security reasons and are readily opened at your request. All residents are requested to return to the refuge by 9pm each evening.

If I have no access to money, can I come to the refuge?

This would depend why you have no access to money. Each individual is assessed on their own need on entering a refuge. In most cases, emergency payments are available through the Community Welfare Service from the HSE until your social welfare benefits and allowances can be accessed.

Will I have to share a room or will I have my own room?

The refuge provides family rooms which contain bunk beds and there is one single bedroom with a cot for a woman and one child under 2. There are some occasions where a number of single women who have been provided accommodation may be asked to share when the need arises for a family room. This is not a regular occurance but it is a policy of the refuge to maximise the amoutn of accommodation available to women and children in crisis need.

Will the staff in the refuge support me in finding housing?

Keyworkers can support your search for accommodation if you plan not to return to the family home but this is not a focus or key component of our work.

What happens if there is someone else that knows me in the refuge?

Each resident agrees to keep all information confidential re the refuge. We do not normally accept residents with the same family name in case they are related for confidentiality reasons.

Can I have visitors come to the refuge?

No, we do not allow visitors to come to the refuge for confidentiality reasons.

When I leave the refuge, is there an outreach service I can avail of?

Yes, you can ring our outreach worker on Tel: 086 803 6595 Monday to Friday and leave a message, which will be picked up and you will be contacted re meeting up etc.

What other support services does the refuge offer?

In addition to 24 hour helpline and crisis accommodation, Bray Women's Refuge can provide individuals with support and information through the Poppy Outreach Service in addition to our outreach worker who holds regular clinics in C.I.C (Community Information Centre) in the Wicklow and South Dublin ares. These outreach servicces are easily accessible through an appointment process to the main helpline number.  Bray Womens Refuge also provides local community groups and schools with information and support around the issue of domestic violence and abuse through the refuge education programme which is tailored to the needs of each participating group. Further information about this service is available from the refuge main phone number 01 286 6163