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Details of the Domestic Abuse Bill announced so far are promising. Refuge believes that putting survivors at the heart of efforts to stamp out domestic abuse is crucial and applauds the aim of the Bill in this respect. Refuge also welcomed the chance to discuss it in more detail with the Prime Minister, Home Secretary and survivors of abuse at an event at Downing Street to mark International Women’s Day. “Meeting survivors acknowledges their experiences and helps ensure their voices are heard. We truly hope that the final Bill delivers on the promise to protect and support victims of domestic … Continue reading

Refuge is delighted that the Government has launched the Domestic Abuse Bill consultation on International Women’s Day today (8 March) by the Prime Minister Theresa May, Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Justice Secretary David Gauke. We believe there are some very positive elements in the proposed Bill and we are particularly delighted to hear that the Government is committed to building new sustainable funding streams for refuges – which at the moment are in grave danger of collapse if proposed changes go through. It is also great to see survivors at the heart of the Bill – we have worked … Continue reading

Refuge welcomes the Sentencing Council’s new domestic abuse guidelines which launched today, 22 February, 2018. Survivors of domestic abuse who have accessed Refuge’s services and our expert frontline staff met the Sentencing Council in 2017 to discuss and develop the guidelines, and we believe they go a long way to help women and children fleeing abusive relationships. Sandra Horley, CBE, CEO of Refuge, says: “These new sentencing guidelines are a huge step forward for women escaping domestic violence. Refuge has long campaigned for crimes committed in a domestic context to be treated as seriously, if not more seriously, than any … Continue reading

Date for your Diary: City of London International Women’s Day Friday 9th March 2018 – 8:00am – 11:00am Great Hall, Guildhall, London EC2 Make a note in your diary for the morning of Friday 9 March 2018 for the City of London International Women’s Day Breakfast. We are delighted that journalist and ITV newsreader Julie Etchingham will be in the chair with a panel of distinguished speakers including: Her Honour Judge Anuja Ravindra Dhir QC London Fire Brigade Commissioner, Dany Cotton QFSM The event celebrates the contribution of women to the Square Mile with a particular focus on encouraging and supporting young … Continue reading

Single biggest threat to the future of refuges for abused women and children: Government’s proposed funding for supported housing Hundreds of specialist women’s refuges could shut if the proposals are followed through Local authorities are under no obligation to fund refuges Generic emergency housing provision is not appropriate for the survivors of abuse Currently, the majority of women seeking a space in a specialist refuge are turned away due to insufficient places, this situation will only get worse The ‘local’ approach taken by some local councils means women, who need to be located in a different area to guarantee their … Continue reading

Sandra Horley CBE, CEO of Refuge, responds to the conviction of Theodore Johnson for the murder of Angela Best. “Theodore Johnson spent his entire life terrorising women. By the time he met Ms Best he had killed both his wife and a second ex-partner. It is utterly horrifying that a man with a known personality disorder and two manslaughter convictions was trusted to keep his doctors and social workers informed about his relationships. “Women have a right to be protected from violent men. But even in 2018 the agencies which are supposed to support them keep failing in this basic … Continue reading

To mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women Refuge CEO Sandra Horley CBE was interviewed by the British Council. Sandra is a committed campaigner on behalf of abused women and children who advises governments internationally on gender-based violence and criminal justice. She looks back at an innovative workshop on women’s rights that she delivered in Mangochi, Southern Malawi, in 1995 at the invitation of the British Council. It resulted in the criminalisation of marital rape in Malawi. But was a change in the law enough to change things? Reena Johl, Country Director, Malawi, goes on to tell … Continue reading

Refuge launches new programme to tackle technological abuse and empower women victims to unlock the opportunities technology brings On 31 October 2017, Refuge launched a new programme to tackle technological abuse and economic and technological exclusion, caused by the growing misuse of modern technology against victims of domestic abuse. Increasing evidence suggests tools and technology from mobile phones and social media to online banking and satnavs are being misused by abusive men to track, isolate, harass, and control their partners. Research from Comic Relief in 2016 showed 4 in 5 women who had experienced domestic abuse had seen their activity … Continue reading

Refuge responds to the latest HMIC report on police response to domestic violence Sandra Horley, CBE, chief executive of Refuge says: “HMICFRS report makes for very grim reading.   Refuge is deeply concerned that despite an abundance of good intentions and training initiatives, little appears to have changed for victims of domestic abuse. We are particularly worried to discover that there has been a fall in the number of arrests made and referrals to the Crown Prosecution Service.  It is abundantly clear that the current policy of police discretion in cases of domestic violence is not working and that the abuse … Continue reading

Refuge CEO Sandra Horley CBE was interviewed by the evening Standard about how refuge has supported victims of modern slavery. See the interview here.  Refuge is supporting the Evening Standard’s campaign to expose the realities of modern slavery in London, reach out to victims and raise funds for specialist services Estimated 46m people enslaved across the world (Walk Free Foundation) Government figures suggest there are between 10,000 and 13,000 victims in the UK (National Crime Agency’s 2016 end of year report) 71% trafficking victims worldwide are women and girls (UNODC 2016 Global Report) On Tuesday 12 September 2017, London’s Evening Standard launched its ground-breaking ‘Slaves … Continue reading