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Page last updated at 11:20 GMT, Tuesday, 20 April 2010 12:20 UK
New refuge from domestic violence in Staffordshire
Young woman holds her head in her hands
Many victims of domestic violence struggle to find a place to live

For the very first time the Staffordshire Moorlands area has its own permanent women's refuge.

It's run by Staffordshire Women's Aid - a charity that provides a range of services for women and children living with or trying to escape domestic violence.

When it comes to victims of domestic violence it's all too easy to think "why don't they just leave?"

There are plenty of reasons, not least of which could be where do you go?

Think about it, for most of us, where we live is tied up with our relationship.

So if you decide to leave your relationship, then you're also deciding to leave home and as a consequence that leaves you by definition homeless.

Permanent refuge

Previously, the Staffordshire Moorlands never really had any permanent refuge.

But now, there will somewhere new to escape to, a place which the people who run it think is the best in Staffordshire, if not the Midlands.

Its location can't be revealed, of course, but the purpose-built refuge has 11 self-contained flats which are also big enough to take families.

Children's play area

There's even a special room set aside for children to play in.

Chief Exececutive of Staffordshire Women's Aid, Dickie Chester-James, highlights the importance of making children feel safe and happy:

"I think all the colours and the way its set out, we've tried to convey the message of happiness, of childhood. Because very often, children have their childhoods taken away by domestic violence."

Staffordshire Women's Aid also hope to use the refuge as a base in the future from which to reach out to victims.

And if you're a woman who'd like to talk to someone about domestic violence then Staffordshire Women's Aid has a 24 hour hotline. The number is 0870 2700 123.

Plea over women's refuge facility
18 Apr 10 |  Staffordshire



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