There were limited options for victims who often found themselves trapped in abusive and violent relationships. We were one of the first refuge providers in the UK and we opened our local women’s refuge with the help of a York businessman who donated a two-bedroom flat to us.
For many years we worked as a feminist collective, depending upon the generosity of supporters and volunteers to provide our services.
In the 1990s, along with many similar charities, we started to receive local authority and government funding. This followed years of lobbying by the women’s sector for government and agencies to recognise the deep harm caused to victims and survivors and to make proper provision for their support. We started to formalise our approach to work, developing standards for our services and innovation in our approach to services.
In 2004 we started to work outside of the area of York to deliver community-based services in parts of North Yorkshire. We also began providing support to male victims of abuse. To reflect our new areas of work and our new remit, we decided to change our name to Independent Domestic Abuse Services (IDAS).
IDAS is the largest specialist charity in Yorkshire supporting people affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence.