Caravan refuge plan for traveller domestic violence victims

Travellers who have suffered domestic violence are being asked if they would prefer a women’s refuge in a caravan rather than a building, it emerged today.

A branch of the domestic violence charity Women’s Aid is looking at providing a trailer or chalet-style facility in the garden of an existing refuge to improve services for travellers and gypsies.

It has set up an online survey to gather travellers’ views about the proposals.

The survey is funded by the Supporting People initiative run by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The plan, revealed in the national traveller, gypsy and Roma magazine Travellers’ Times, is also examining whether more women from the community should be encouraged to work with groups like Women’s Aid.

One traveller who has suffered domestic violence, identified only as “Annie”, told the magazine: “If I’d never lived in a house in the first place, I would not want to go into a house refuge.”

The Women’s Aid survey asks: “Would you want to stay in a refuge that had a secure mobile home/caravan in the garden for a gypsy/traveller woman and her children?”

It adds: “This survey is for gypsy/traveller women that have experienced domestic violence and may have used support services. It has been created to try to address the fact that traveller women may not be getting the service that they require or which meets their cultural needs.”

The plan has been put forward by West Mercia’s branch of Women’s Aid. Spokeswoman Sharne Maher said: “On average a woman will go through 12 agencies before finding a refuge. A woman from an ethnic minority background will have to work her way through about 17. We worry that some women simply give up trying.”

http://www.24dash.com/news/Housing/2008-04-25-Caravan-refuge-plan-for-traveller-domestic-violence-victims

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