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Last Tuesday, the Domestic Abuse Bill re-started its journey in Parliament to become law. After significant delays due to Brexit, the prorogation of Parliament and the general election at the end of last year, the Bill is back. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the Government to transform its response to domestic abuse and make sure that survivors and their children have access to the vital support they need. On average, two women a week are killed at the hands of their current or ex-partners in England and Wales. Women and children’s lives depend on the Government seizing this opportunity … Continue reading

We are delighted to announce that as of 1st November 2019 we will run the National Domestic Abuse Helpline as the sole provider of this vital service. We have increased our team of Helpline experts who will be able to answer more calls than ever before.* We will provide more survivors with access to emergency and other domestic abuse services across the country, as well as provide essential emotional and practical information. Calls are confidential and our support is non-judgmental and non directive – we will not tell women what to do but empower them to understand their options. The … Continue reading

Our Warrington Domestic Abuse Service comprises four Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVA), one outreach worker and one young person’s advocate. As part of this vital service we also run a local helpline. We are delighted that over the period of time our team of experts have seen great growth in the numbers of clients we support. The team is based in an office close to the town centre but our IDVAs also co locate across two hospitals to ensure early intervention to support women experiencing abuse. The team also delivers training to frontline professionals such as doctors and nursing staff … Continue reading

With financial support from government agencies becoming increasingly precarious, community support is vital to the continuation of Refuge’s services. Refuge provides 15 units of emergency accommodation in Richmond and is a fantastic example of people coming together to support women and children escaping domestic violence and abuse. We are incredibly grateful to Richmond Mayor Ben Khosa who has selected Refuge as his 2019 charity. As of May 2019 Mayor Khosa has raised over £20,000 in support of Refuge through events such as the multi-faith Peace and Unity event, cycling and marathon events and skydiving for which we are hugely grateful. … Continue reading

We are delighted to announce that we opened a new refuge service in Hillingdon at the beginning of March. This service can accommodate up to seven women and 14 children at any one time. The service is staffed by a deputy manager, two refuge workers and a child support worker. During the first few months, the staff have been busy supporting residents, making links with external agencies and agreeing referral pathways so that our clients can easily access any additional support they might need. The child support worker is running activities for children such as cooking and homework club as well … Continue reading

A refuge is so much more than just a roof over a woman’s head At the beginning of the year Refuge won a bid to develop its first psychologically informed refuge service in Westminster, London. The service comprises five refuges which support 35 single women or families at any one time. As we develop this service we have been giving much thought to creating an environment in the refuges which provides a culture of well-being and a sense of physical and emotional safety for clients and staff. Our specialist staff have consulted women about the refuge environment – with a … Continue reading

In response to the Government’s announcement that it intends to suspend Parliament in September, Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of national domestic abuse charity Refuge said: ‘The announcement today from the Prime Minister that the current parliamentary session will end in mid-September has the potential to erase years of work towards the Domestic Abuse Bill. The Bill, introduced by Theresa May and awaiting a second reading, aims to put in place much needed changes to current legislation and save lives. Legislation introduced in the last parliamentary session can be very simply ‘carried over’. We hope that the Prime Minister will … Continue reading

Refuge has played an essential role in influencing the content of the Domestic Abuse Bill and continues to campaign for the changes our front line staff and the survivors we support tell us they need. The Government’s stated objective for the Bill is to transform the response to domestic abuse – which Refuge is fully behind. However, we are concerned that the Bill in its current form focuses too much on the justice system and policing, leaving out swathes of policy areas that need reform in order to better protect, and meet the needs of, survivors. Listening to the survivors … Continue reading

Refuge, one of 30 women’s groups today wrote to Conservative Party leader candidates Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson asking them to make specific pledges to tackle domestic and sexual violence if they become the next Prime Minister. The organisations, who work supporting survivors of all forms of violence against women and girls across the UK, are asking Mr Hunt and Mr Johnson to: Ensure the draft Domestic Violence Bill becomes law and is delivered; Renew the cross-government Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy from 2020 onwards – this includes life-saving work from ensuring hospital there are domestic violence workers in A&E departments, to advising … Continue reading

The Joint Pre-Legislative Domestic Abuse Bill Committee, a group of MPs and peers who are responsible for scrutinising the draft Domestic Abuse Bill published by the Government earlier this year, today published its report and recommendations to the Government. We are delighted that the Committee has listened to Refuge, and has made some strong recommendations to the Government. Gendered definition of domestic abuse The draft domestic abuse Bill will define domestic abuse in law for the first time. As this will be an important awareness and understanding raising tool, the Committee took lots of evidence on this issue and debated … Continue reading