Refuge for Women, accommodation for women who have fled from partnerships or marriages because of abuse. The Austrian women's shelters take in women of every nationality and religion. In additional to temporary lodgings, refuges for women. offer women and their children counselling and support in all areas. The first refuges for women in Austria were opened in 1978 in Vienna. Currently (1994) there are 15 refuges for women in Austria (11 of which are independent) and three advice centres. In 1993 Austria's independent refuges for women offered protection to 865 women and children.