Moving to a refuge can be a distressing and stressful time, with many women describing having their self-esteem and self-belief eroded by the abuse, feeling guilty for moving their children. The FAMILY SUPPORT PRACTITIONERS working in Changing Pathways refuges understand the impact of domestic abuse and how difficult it is to make the move into a refuge and so work with every woman to develop an individual support plan that meets her own, unique needs and circumstances. All women and children living in a Changing Pathways refuge receive emotional and practical support throughout their stay, as well as regular risk assessments and updated support plans.

Perpetrators of domestic violence often isolate their victims to enforce control and alienate them from friends,  family and other support networks. While living in the refuge, families have access to a range of support services, activities and groups to help them rebuild these relationships and support systems, including specialist services for children and young people through the Changing Pathways Children and Young People’s Services.

We provide a range of activities to help children settle into refuge life, ranging from a daily playgroup for the under 5’s at our Basildon refuge, an after-school club for older children, art therapy and regular trips out. For adult women, we provide activities such as bingo, arts and craft groups, pampering sessions and therapeutic support.

Changing Pathways refuge accommodation is spread across Basildon, Thurrock and Rayleigh, in two buildings of multiple occupancy with 27 units in total and 16 individual, self-contained flats. In total, we are able to accommodate 43 women/young people and their children.