Freephone 24-Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247

Run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge


Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Amber Rudd announced today that Universal Credit payments will now go to the main carer in a household, following campaigning from Refuge and other women’s organisations highlighting the risks that existing universal credit policies present for survivors of domestic violence. Sandra Horley CBE, Chief Executive of Refuge, said: “Refuge welcomes the Secretary of State’s decision to scrap the extension of the two child limit and to pay Universal Credit payments to the main carer in a household. We are delighted to see the Government has taken on board the concerns of our frontline staff … Continue reading

Refuge, the UK’s largest domestic violence charity, launches a second phase of its major domestic violence awareness raising campaign at Christmas. Earlier this month, a series of poems were unveiled. The poems, when read top to bottom appear as ‘standard’ poems; but when read in reverse, bottom to top, reveal a chilling story about domestic abuse. Since the launch, the poems have received unprecedented media and digital exposure, gaining support from high profile individuals such as Paloma Faith, Nicola Roberts, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Richard Herring, amongst others. To continue to spotlight domestic violence and reach even more women … Continue reading

The latest Femicide Census report, published in December 2018, reveals that 139 women were killed by men in the UK in 2017, and 42% of cases featured ‘overkilling’. The report was compiled by Karen Ingala Smith (CEO of Nia) in collaboration with Women’s Aid, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP and Deloitte LLP. Three-quarters of these women were killed by someone they knew, and more than half were killed by their partner or ex-partner. For the first time, the census collected data on ‘overkilling’ (extreme violence, i.e. use of force that was greater than required to kill the victim) and found that … Continue reading

As the domestic homicide review into the murders of Claire and Charlotte Hart is published, Refuge calls for greater awareness amongst professionals of the dangers of coercive control. In July 2016, Claire Hart was killed at the hands of her husband, Lance, before he killed their daughter Charlotte and then himself. Brothers – and Refuge champions – Luke and Ryan Hart were working overseas at the time, but have talked since about the controlling behaviour to which Lance had subjected the family for decades. While the review released today does not identify specific failings of the system, it does highlight … Continue reading

Hard-hitting reversible poems to spotlight domestic violence and offer support to women and children this Christmas Refuge initiative launches on day nine of ‘16 days of action’ – a global initiative to raise awareness of violence against women and girls Poems tell harrowing domestic abuse tale when read in reverse order 3 December 2018: Refuge, the UK’s largest domestic violence charity, has created a series of menacing poems that tell the story of women and children who have experienced domestic violence at Christmas. Even now in 2018, one in four women experience domestic violence in their lifetime.  Two women a … Continue reading

The Office for National Statistics released their latest figures on domestic abuse on 11 November. Responding to the figures, Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of Refuge, said: “The latest ONS Crime Survey figures on domestic abuse reflect the shocking reality that Refuge’s frontline staff see every day. More women than men experience partner abuse, significantly more women are killed by their partners than men, far too few male perpetrators​ are arrested and even fewer convictions are obtained. “1 in 4 women will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime. The majority do not go to the police, but rely on organisations … Continue reading

The Home Affairs Select Committee has published a report on domestic abuse today (22 October 2018) ahead of the Government introducing a Domestic Abuse Bill. The Committee recommends national refuge funding, a new stalkers register, and an end to single Universal Credit Payments should be part of the new Government Bill on Domestic Abuse. The report also urges the Government to widen it to be a Violence against Women and Girls and Domestic Abuse Bill. In response, Sandra Horley CBE, Chief Executive of Refuge, said: “The Domestic Abuse Bill is a huge opportunity to tackle domestic abuse and gender-based violence … Continue reading

The Co-operative Bank and Refuge campaign ‘My Money, My Life’ shone a spotlight on financial abuse and called for all banks to take action to better support victims The launch of the Code of Practice is a success of the ‘My Money, My Life’ campaign and will better help victims get the support they need from their financial service provider The Co-operative Bank and leading domestic violence charity Refuge welcome the Financial Abuse Code of Practice launched today (10 October 2018) by UK Finance and are proud that their joint campaign ‘My Money, My Life’ has highlighted the scale of … Continue reading

Today’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) ‘Violence Against Women and Girls’ report reflects a mixed bag of results in terms of delivering justice for the victims of these devastating crimes. While the increase in police referrals and CPS prosecutions of coercive control, stalking and breaches of restraining orders is clearly welcome progress, the fall in the number of rape referrals and charges is especially alarming for Refuge. Chief Executive of Refuge, Sandra Horley CBE said: “A drop in rape charges of 23% in one year is of huge concern to Refuge at a time when reports to police are actually on … Continue reading

A report by HM Inspectorate of Probation on the supervision of offenders convicted of domestic abuse offences by Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) has found that CRCs are failing to sufficiently supervise domestic abuse perpetrators and are therefore putting women and children at risk. Sandra Horley CBE, Chief Executive of Refuge, said: “It is alarming that the outsourced supervision of low- and medium-risk offenders is failing to keep domestic abuse victims safe and prevent future incidents of violence. “Vulnerable women and children are being put at risk on a daily basis by probation staff, who lack understanding of domestic abuse and … Continue reading