Survivors of horrific domestic abuse are to be helped by a new Lancashire refuge opened in memory of Barrowford nurse Jane Clough.
In July, charity Safenet, which has helped save more than 5,000 women and children since providing its first refuge in the 1970s, is opening the doors to its brand new venue, Jane’s Place.
The recovery refuge will be the first in Lancashire to deliver safe accommodation, and support services to survivors of domestic abuse who have complex needs such as mental health issues and addictions, and who may not be able to be placed in other refuges due to such issues.
It is expected to admit its first residents at the beginning of July.
The lifesaving venue is named after mum-of-one and nurse Jane Clough, who was stabbed to death by her violent and abusive ex Jonathan Vass while he was on bail for raping her.
The 26-year-old former Runshaw College student had just arrived at work at Blackpool Victoria Hospital when Vass, an ambulance technician from Preston, knifed her 71 times in the car park.
Whilst I’m incredibly proud to be involved with the project, I’m astounded it has taken until 2017 to achieve this when so many women are at risk
Jane’s mum Penny Clough MBE, and dad John have campaigned for prosecutors to be given the right to challenge crown court bail decisions when they fear a potentially dangerous defendant may be being bailed.”
The new facility in East Lancashire will house 15 apartments.
Speaking ahead of the launch, Penny said: “I’ve had a tour and it’s a wonderful thing .
“Whilst I’m incredibly proud to be involved with the project, I’m astounded it has taken until 2017 to achieve this when so many women are at risk.
“It makes me realise how we simply haven’t had the facility to look after victims with complex needs for too long.
“It makes it all the more amazing this refuge is opening amid all the funding cuts.
“Just because women may have mental health needs or other issues they shouldn’t be deprived of the chance to escape abuse.
“When Safenet said they’d love to call it after Jane I was crying. What a beautiful idea. They loved what she stood for, she would have helped people with those needs.
“Nationally, 15 refuges closed last year. We are regressing as a caring society but at least this is a step in the right direction. It shows every victim matters. It seemed so appropriate as Jane wrote three words in the front of her journal - be the change.”
Anyone who needs assistance or advice about domestic abuse can call Safenet on 07866 510 728 or call the national 24-hour domestic abuse helpline free of charge on 0808 2000 247.