Helping and supporting survivors of domestic abuse is what we do at Women’s Aid NEL and we use lots of different strategies to do it but all too often, the first step, after reaching out to us means getting away from the perpetrator and that, for some, can be very difficult.

If the victim needs to travel away from the area quickly, especially if it’s long distance, this can pose a significant problem, as many times the abuse suffered includes financial hardship and although a life saving place in a refuge might be available, the means to travel to it might not!

This is where the ‘Travel To Refuge’ scheme comes in, making it possible to travel, free, to a place of safety in a pre-arranged refuge in another area.

Travel To Refuge

Travel to refuge is a collaboration between Women’s Aid and travel companies to allow those fleeing from their abusers to travel free to a place of safety, a Women’s refuge in another area.

The scheme is made up of two components, Rail To Refuge and Road To Refuge.

Rail To Refuge

The ‘rail to refuge’ scheme offers free train travel to those fleeing abuse and have been offered a place in a refuge.

The scheme was set up in 2020 as a collaboration between Women’s Aid UK and the Rail Delivery Group, since which time it has helped literally thousands of women and hundreds of children escape their abusers.

Road To Refuge

Road to refuge is a similar collaboration established a little later in 2023, between Women’s Aid UK and National Express, providing free coach travel for survivors of abuse.

How It Works

A survivor who has engaged with a domestic abuse service which is a member of Women’s Aid Federation of England, Imkaan, Scottish Women’s Aid or Welsh Women’s Aid (including Respect’s Men’s Advice Line) and has been offered a place in a refuge, can receive free travel, arranged by the relevant referring service.

The refuge can send the ticket by a pre agreed, appropriate route to the survivor, or arrange for the ticket to be collected and travel, without having to declare the reason for receiving the ticket.

The system works perfectly and the ticket will be sent by the best route for the user.

This means that the survivor can make a quick escape from the abusive situation and know they are going to a safe place of refuge.

Options Available To You

Love shouldn’t feel bad and nobody should have to suffer alone.

If you think you are in an abusive relationship, there are many ways you can reach out for help and here at Women’s Aid NEL, there’s always someone to talk to.

You can visit our website to find out what options are available to you.

Please reach out so we can support you. Please don’t suffer alone.