Information for professionals

For those working with or treating survivors of domestic abuse, here are some things you should know.

Information for professionals

Social workers, housing officers, health professionals or police officers may be the first person to whom a woman ever discloses her experiences of abuse. Those likely to come into contact with survivors must know how to respond appropriately and help women access specialist services.

Training for professionals

Refuge helps to train professionals who interact with survivors in several ways:

  • Our staff members build crucial relationships with key local agencies and awareness-raising in the community
  • Our advocates work out of local police stations and hospitals, in parallel with the front-line staff there, providing guidance and specialist knowledge
  • Professionals across whole areas are trained by Refuge trainers through country-wide training
  • Tech and economic abuse training packages for external agencies. To find out more please e-mail the team on

Please check back here soon for future training dates.

Tips and resources

If you work with women, you will meet women experiencing domestic abuse. You should ensure you understand your duties, and the policies and procedures your organisation has in place to recognise abuse and support women.

You may find our tips on how to speak to survivors useful. Remember, you may be the first person to whom a woman discloses her abuse. This may be her only opportunity to access support. It is important that you listen to her and believe her, and that you are non-judgmental and respond safely and appropriately.

It is better for the woman to contact us directly. You can empower her by explaining who we are and what it’s like to call us.

Posters for your work spaces

Too many women experiencing domestic abuse still do not know where to turn. Printing one of our posters and asking to display it in your local shop, doctor’s office, dentist, library, pharmacy or café could help save a life.

Download a Helpline poster in colour.

Download a Helpline poster in black and white.

Download a Warning Signs poster in colour.

Useful links and numbers

Domestic abuse national helpline numbers

General support

Legal support

Support for children and young people

Support for Black, Asian and ethnically diverse women

  • Foreign and Commonwealth Office Forced Marriage Unit supports people who are trying to stop a forced marriage and women who need help leaving a marriage she has been forced into
    020 7008 0151 |
  • The Refugee Council provides free advice and information to asylum seekers and refugees in UK:
  • Immigration Advice Service: 0333 305 9272 |
    Asylum Aid offers free, independent legal advice and representation to asylum seekers
    020 7354 9264 |
  • Southall Black Sisters supports Asian and African-Caribbean women experiencing any kind of gender based violence: 0208 571 0800 |
  • Jewish Women’s Aid Helpline is a confidential, non-judgemental, listening service
    0808 801 0500 |
  • Somalian Women’s Centre offers advice and information for the Somali community living in and around Ealing on housing, immigration, nationality and asylum, education, employment and welfare rights | 020 8752 1787
  • Shakti Women’s Aid supports women experiencing domestic violence in Scotland
    0131 475 2399 |
  • The Kiran Project provides a range of services for Asian women experiencing domestic violence
    020 8558 1986 |
  • Chinese Information and Advice Centre offers free legal advice and support including to women experiencing domestic violence | 020 7692 3697 |
  • BAWSO provides services and support for women experiencing all forms of gender-based violence in Wales | 0800 731 8147 (Helpline) |
  • JAN Trust works to combat poverty, discrimination, abuse and social exclusion among women including refugees or asylum seekers | 0208 889 9433 |

Local support