A Northampton charity, which has been working with victims of domestic abuse for over 40 years, has decided to change its name to be more inclusive of men.
Northampton Women’s Aid has relaunched to become the Northamptonshire Domestic Abuse Service (NDAS) to reflect the changes in their line of work and remove the barrier to male victims seeking support.
In partnership with the NDAS, The Northamptonshire Quakers identified that there was a significant shortage in refuge accommodation for male victims and are now in the process of setting up a new male refuge in the north of the county, estimated to open in August.
The location of the refuge cannot be disclosed due to safeguarding reasons.
Theo Sturge, of Northamptonshire Quakers, said "We are very pleased to be providing a house for use as a male refuge.
"Quakers have a long tradition of seeking out gaps where nothing is being done to help people.
"We see this as an excellent opportunity to fill a need, not just within Northamptonshire, but for the region and beyond, there is a national shortage".
Over the years, the charity has recognised that the name 'Women’s Aid' has been a barrier to male victims in seeking support for domestic abuse and now hope that the name change will encourage males to come forward.
The charity has also opened up its line of work to the whole of Northamptonshire, as for some years it was only limited to the Northampton community.
The chair of Northampton Women’s Aid, Wendy Lovell said that the male refuge will complete NDAS housing portfolio.
She said: "We already provide emergency refuge for women and children, a specialist refuge for women with substance misuse issues and now the provision for male victims.
"The advice centre in Northampton is the single point of contact for all refuge provision, advice by telephone 24 hr. cover, drop-in services countywide, interventions to victims, perpetrators, children, young people and targeted community support work."