Refuge works alongside MPs, ministers and policy-makers to ensure that policies and legislation give abused women and children the protection and services they deserve.


We lobby the government to ensure that domestic violence remains high on the political agenda.

We provide a voice for women and children experiencing domestic violence, and we ensure that their needs are represented at the highest possible levels.

Refuge has campaigned tirelessly for the government to provide a national, fully funded domestic violence strategy.

We believe that this strategy must address the following ‘three Ps':


Stronger legal measures will ensure that fewer perpetrators go unpunished. The criminal justice system must implement the law and send out the message that domestic violence is criminal and will not be tolerated.


Abused women need a range of services. For too many women the choice is between staying with a violent partner and becoming homeless. The government must channel additional funds into more services which recognise women’s diverse needs.


We must raise awareness among all ages that violence is unacceptable. Professionals in every field – teachers, health workers, legal professionals – must receive specialist training to enable them to spot the signs of abuse and respond appropriately. If we do not understand the problem, we cannot challenge it.

Policy submissions

Refuge works to influence government policy, legislation and guidelines relating to domestic violence. We regularly respond to policy consultations. All of our responses are informed by the needs and views of the women and children we support.

View our responses in the Refuge policy page.

MPs and ministers

Refuge meets regularly with MPs and ministers to raise awareness of domestic violence and ensure the needs of abused women and children are understood and addressed.

Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of Refuge:

“Domestic violence is a major social problem. We all know a victim of domestic violence, although we may not realise it – it could be our mother, sister, friend or colleague. At Refuge we see the black eyes, broken bones and the bruises. We know first hand the fear and terror experienced by abused women and children. Many women have nowhere to go, no one to turn to, no support.

Yet every woman and child has the right to live in safety and access help – whether that means a bed for a night, legal aid, counselling or support. Do we really want our children to grow up in a world where they witness their mothers being beaten and brutalised?

Refuge has waited years for legislative change and real commitment to tackling this most abhorrent of crimes. Without a national strategy and funding to match, women and children will remain at risk of violence and death.”