Not so long ago, domestic violence was something many people pretended did not exist. As late as the 1970’s, women escaping violent family lives had no support from the law and no access to benefits or community agencies. At that time, society turned a blind eye to domestic violence. There certainly wasn’t the range of support available now.In 1976, a group of a small group of women got together to do something about it. They started the Battered Women’s Support Group – a non-profit, voluntary telephone support group to support others in similar situations to themselves.“We’re proud that each year, we support hundreds of women and children move towards safety.”That group became one of the original 11 refuges which collaborated in 1979 to set up a national association of independent refuges. Their goal was to increase public understanding of the causes and effects of family violence through research, publication of books and papers on the issue.By 1986 the group had re-formed as the Battered Women’s Trust, and was going from strength to strength.From that initial group in 1976, we have evolved to offer a range of advocacy and education services as well as rural, safe housing, transitional housing and a 24-hour crisis line, plus more.