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In response to the statement by Bristol Rovers Football Club last night, which was released following media coverage of manager Joey Barton’s court appearance, Ruth Davison, Refuge Chief Executive said: ‘One in four women will experience domestic abuse at some point in their lifetime and 2 women a week across England and Wales are killed by a current or former partner. Bristol Rovers average attendance pre covid was 8,320. If that was compromised entirely of women, at least 2,080 would have experienced domestic abuse at an average game. A tactic often used by perpetrators of abuse is to tell women … Continue reading

In response to the quarterly data summary, issued on 22nd July, Ruth Davison, Refuge CEO said: “The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) statistics report draws into sharp focus the problems with the criminal justice system and the challenges women face when reporting domestic abuse and other forms of violence against women and girls. While Refuge is pleased to see that the courts have increased the number of hearings they hold as they attempt to deal with the backlog to the pandemic, it is not yet meeting need, and it is vital that these delays are addressed with speed. That will require … Continue reading

Refuge welcomes two new trustees to its board of trustees and three independent sub-committee members as the charity’s governance goes from strength to strength This month Refuge welcomes two new trustees, James Watson-O’Neill and Jon Rowney, to its board of trustees. James and Jon join eight other trustees and chair who oversee the charity’s work, delivered by CEO Ruth Davison. Jon and James will be pivotal to the development of Refuge’s new five year strategy; selected as a result of their professional expertise and experience and their commitment to Refuge’s values. Refuge’s current board of trustees, led by Chair Hetti … Continue reading

Ruth Davison Refuge CEO said: “With online abuse becoming increasingly common, and voices from all sectors of society urging action, Refuge welcomes the appointment of this joint committee to scrutinise the draft Online Safety Bill. This is an important next step in ensuring we address the harm being caused to domestic abuse survivors, which is ever more commonly being perpetrated online. At Refuge we know that online platforms are commonly weaponised by perpetrators of domestic abuse and cases of tech abuse are ever present across our frontline services. The Online Safety Bill presents an opportunity to meaningfully address online violence … Continue reading

In response to the HMICFRS interim report on the inspection into police engagement with women and girls, Ruth Davison Refuge CEO said: ‘Refuge welcomes this interim report into police engagement with women and girls. We echo the HMICFRS’ call for urgent strategies to address the significant failings in the current police response to women experiencing domestic abuse and other forms of male violence. With a domestic abuse call to the police every thirty seconds, (yet only around 20% of people experiencing domestic abuse ever report to the police), this should be a priority issue. Yet time and again Refuge sees reviews which fail to deliver the radical progress we so urgently need to see. Recent findings from the Victim’s Commissioner’s survey of rape complainants, for example, found that only … Continue reading

Refuge and campaigner Erica Osakwe respond to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill debate. Ruth Davison, CEO of Refuge said: ‘We are grateful to Yvette Cooper for today raising the issue of common assault perpetrated in domestic abuse contexts and the ‘timing out’ of access to justice for so many women who are unsafe or unable to report the incident to police immediately. Women like Erica Osakwe, who launched ‘victims too’ last year, after reporting her abuse to the police, only to have her case closed almost as soon as it was opened. Women like Erica deserve so much … Continue reading

Refuge responds to the Report ‘Understanding Court Support For Victims Of Domestic Abuse’ commissioned by Nicole Jacobs and carried out by SafeLives.   Ruth Davison, Refuge CEO said: ‘It is disappointing but not surprising to find the vast majority of domestic abuse survivors are not receiving the specialist support they need in the court system and are finding the court process traumatic. The report published today by SafeLives and commissioned by the Domestic Abuse Commissioner shows that 89% of domestic abuse victims didn’t get any support through the family courts. Specialist domestic abuse services have been decimated by funding cuts … Continue reading

EU Settlement Scheme Deadline 30 June 2021: Refuge reports that many survivors of domestic abuse are yet to apply for Settled Status and fear this will put vulnerable families at further risk.    With the 30 June deadline for applying for the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) fast approaching, reports from Refuge’s frontline services indicate that many migrant survivors of domestic abuse remain unaware that they need to apply to the scheme, or know how to make an application. Many are reportedly unaware that they must also apply for the scheme on behalf of their children and other dependants.    In the years between 2018-2021, 46% of survivors supported by Refuge’s specialist Eastern European advocacy service required language support, with many prevented from learning English … Continue reading

Refuge, Women’s Aid and the Centre for Women’s Justice launch joint campaign on Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill Organisations across the women’s sector have joined forces to campaign for a change to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which would extend the length of time survivors have to report incidents of common assault to the police from the current six months to a maximum of 18 months. This would remove a critical barrier survivors face when seeking justice against their perpetrator and protection for themselves and their children. The three organisations have launched a mobilisation campaign, which they hope will show parliament and the government the strength of support for reform. The online campaign calls for MPs to support an … Continue reading

Refuge responds to HMICFRS inspection into policing of domestic abuse during the pandemic. In response to the publication of the inspection findings, Lisa King, OBE, Refuge director of communications and external affairs said: ‘Refuge has serious concerns about some of the findings from today’s HMICFRS inspection into the policing of domestic abuse, particularly how they relate to the wider criminal justice response to domestic abuse. Despite a 15% increase in arrests between April and June 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, the charging rate has dropped – from 23.2% in 2016 to a shocking 9% in 2020. Considering … Continue reading