It is perhaps incredible to believe that the first women’s refuge in the world wasn’t founded until 1971. It was titled ‘Chiswick Women’s Aid’ and was meant only to remove women and their children from violence. They offered ‘tea, sympathy and a safe place to stay’. Unsurprisingly the response was overwhelming, and refuges began to spring up world-wide. Jersey joined this movement in 1988 with the support of Soroptimists International of Jersey. The ambition for the Women’s Refuge was to provide a safe place for women and children who are victims of domestic abuse. Driven by Barbara Waites, the Head of Family Nursing, and Rozelle Sutherland, MBE, President of the Soroptimists, they battled their way to securing rented accommodation from the States with the help of Deputy Corrie Stein. Now, the Refuge is the only independent domestic violence charity in Jersey, providing a 24-hour, confidential service, which offers practical and emotional support to women and children suffering from abuse. This includes outreach workers who provide support in the community and who run courses for women and children. They work with the police and other agencies, going into schools to discuss domestic violence. The refuge are marking this milestone with a fundraising ball next month. 

Jersey Women’s Refuge Annual Ball, Saturday 6th October, Grand Jersey’s Grand Suite. 7.00pm Black tie. £70.00 available from Eventbrite.co.uk B&B: Available at £115 per night based on 2 people. Contact reservations on 722301