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Help for women in Cornwall fleeing abusive relationships

Help for women in Cornwall fleeing abusive relationships

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 11:40am 4th March 2020. (Updated at 2:21pm 4th March 2020)

Women in Cornwall who are fleeing domestic abuse are to get free train travel.

A new partnership in time for International Women's Day will provide help for those fleeing an abusive relationship and travelling to safety at a refuge.

Officials say that the inability to travel away from an abusive home and a lack of freely available cash are some of the ways women continue to be trapped. 

Now, the 'rail to refuge' collaboration between Women's Aid and Great Western Railway will offer free rail travel for those fleeing domestic violence and who are travelling to a refuge.

Whether it is due to limited places at women's refuge or the need to move them away from their perpetrator, some have to travel a considerable distance to be able to find safety. 

This new alliance will allow women and their family to travel on GWR trains in the Duchy, and across the country, as they seek shelter.

How does the scheme work?

The scheme will be administered by Woman's Aid; and is open to women who need travel to an already agreed place at a refuge.

When a woman fleeing domestic abuse secures a place in a refuge, they will be asked if they require any assistance in travelling to the refuge. 

If so, and if it is possible to make the journey in question on a GWR service, the refuge will contact GWR who will then issue an e-ticket to the refuge who, in turn, will pass this onto the woman.

"We're delighted to launch the 'rail to refuge' scheme to support women fleeing domestic abuse. Access to cash is a major barrier for women escaping an abusive partner, and free train travel will be one less thing for these women to worry about at a time of acute crisis.

"I'd like to thank Great Western Railway for supporting this initiative, and encourage other rail companies to contact Women's Aid if they'd like to join the scheme and help us support women fleeing domestic abuse."

Adina Claire, acting co-CEO of Women's Aid

The scheme includes Women's Aid, Wales Women's Aid as well as the sister organisation Imkaan, who support black and minority ethnic woman across the UK.

A special supportive pin badge has also been designed, and GWR will make a financial donation to Women's Aid and Welsh Women's Aid in recognition of the work they do providing life-saving services.

"The railway is much more than trains and rail track; it is about supporting the communities that it serves. 

"Many of those trapped are unable to flee from their abusers because they have no means by which to do so. Now, with what is such a simple idea, we are able to help provide that means."     

GWR Business Assurance Director, Joe Graham

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