Refuge celebrates 45th birthday with Home Secretary Amber Rudd and patron Jo Brand

22nd November

On 21st November 2016, national domestic violence charity Refuge marked its 45th birthday with an event in the House of Lords. Refuge chief executive Sandra Horley CBE was joined by Home Secretary Amber Rudd and the comedian and Refuge patron Jo Brand, as well as politicians, service commissioners, survivors of domestic violence and supporters.

Refuge opened the world’s first women’s refuge in Chiswick, London, in 1971. Now, Refuge is the largest provider of specialist services for women and children escaping domestic violence and other forms of gender based violence in the country. Its specialist services support more than 4,500 clients on any given day.

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Home Secretary Amber Rudd speaks at Refuge’s 45th birthday event in the House of Lords, and congratulates the team on meeting this milestone. Credit: Julian Nieman for Refuge

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Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Refuge chief executive Sandra Horley CBE come together to celebrate 45 years of Refuge’s life-saving services. Refuge supports 4,500 women and children escaping domestic violence and other forms of gender based violence on any given day. Credit: Julian Nieman for Refuge.

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Comedian Jo Brand – who is a patron of Refuge – added some humour to the event. She says: “If just one woman recognises the warning signs of domestic violence and finds the courage to get in touch with Refuge then that is potentially one life saved.” Credit: Julian Nieman for Refuge

Jo Brand performs in the impressive surroundings of the House of Lords’ River Room – and has Refuge’s supporters in stitches.

Jo Brand performs in the impressive surroundings of the House of Lords’ River Room – and has Refuge’s supporters in stitches. Credit: Julian Nieman for Refuge

Comedian and Refuge patron Jo Brand joins Refuge chief executive Sandra Horley CBE to celebrate 45 years of Refuge; the charity set up the world’s first refuge for women escaping domestic violence in 1971.

Jo Brand joins Refuge chief executive Sandra Horley CBE to celebrate 45 years of Refuge; the charity set up the world’s first refuge for women escaping domestic violence in 1971. Credit: Julian Nieman for Refuge.

For more on this story, contact the press office on press@refuge.org.uk, or on 0207 395 7731 or 07970 894240 (out of hours).