Scheme helps domestic abuse victims reach safety with free travel on Great Western Railway services

Rail to Refuge
GWR - The launching of GWR Women’s Aid ticket scheme. The scheme will allow women escaping domestic abuse to obtain free train tickets to get them to safe accommodation

DOMESTIC abuse victims are being supported through a new railway scheme.

Rail to Refuge, a new project created by Great Western Railway, is providing free train travel across the GWR network for domestic abuse victims who need to get to a safe place.

Together with domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid, Rail to Refuge launched in March 2020 and has helped more than 200 victims over the last year.

After receiving a great response, the scheme was then adopted nationally through the Rail Delivery Group and since then has assisted more than 1,300 adults and children across the UK.

Great Western Railway has also announced they will be extending the scheme to continue helping people.

Joe Graham, business assurance director at Great Western Railway, said: “When we launched Rail to Refuge we knew how important this scheme would be in helping victims get to a place of safety.

“The extension of the national scheme, added to our own permanent scheme, means we can continue to help get those who need help to a place of safety anywhere in the country.”

Farah Nazeer, Women’s Aid chief executive, said: “Many women and children have to travel long distances to escape their abuser.

“There remains a serious shortage of refuge spaces, so it is vital that women are not prevented access to safety in a refuge by the cost of travel.

“We are delighted that train companies have worked with us to remove a significant barrier to people escaping abuse and it is incredibly welcome news that the scheme has been extended.”

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