New £2.5m ‘haven’ for domestic abuse victims opens in Sheffield

New refuge for women and children fleeing domestic abuse has opened in Sheffield.'Jean Kidner, SARAS director, Coun Mary Lea and Jacqui Devereux, SARS chariman.
New refuge for women and children fleeing domestic abuse has opened in Sheffield.'Jean Kidner, SARAS director, Coun Mary Lea and Jacqui Devereux, SARS chariman.
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A new £2.5m refuge which provides a ‘haven’ for women and children forced to flee domestic abuse has opened in Sheffield.

The refuge has private, self-contained flats and replaces former facilities where women and their children had to use the same bedroom and share kitchens and bathrooms with other families.

It is thought around 28,000 adults and children are affected by domestic violence in Sheffield every year.

One mum-of-two at the refuge, who wanted to be known as Becky, left her verbally abusive partner and is waiting for council housing.

The 29-year-old said: “He was always breaking doors by head butting them, smashing and throwing things.

“He used to call me names saying ‘you’re just pathetic’ - I couldn’t have stayed.

“The new refuge is brilliant compared to where I was before. 
“I had to sleep on a bunk bed with all three of us sharing a room - I need my own space for me and my kids.

“Here I actually have it.”

The refuge has a garden where families can meet and a children’s play room, and is run by Sheffield Area Refuge and Support, which is a merger of several former refuge services.

Chairman Jaqui Devereux said: “We are delighted with the new refuge which will provide a haven for women and children forced to leave their own homes, families and friends to be safe from abuse.”

Sheffield Council gifted the land and funds the service.