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Government vows to end ‘postcode lottery’ for victims of Domestic Abuse Councils in England will have a legal duty to provide secure accommodation for victims of domestic abuse under new plans announced by Theresa May. Sandra Horley, CBE, chief executive of Refuge, national domestic violence charity, says: “Refuge is delighted by the Government’s decision to place a legal duty on local authorities to provide funding for accommodation based support for survivors of domestic abuse. This has the potential to end the post code lottery for refuge places and could put these life-saving services on a secure financial footing for the … Continue reading

In response to victims of crime, including rape, being asked to hand their phones over to police – or risk prosecutions not going ahead – Sandra Horley CBE, Chief Executive of Refuge said: “It takes tremendous courage for a traumatised rape victim to go to the police after they have experienced rape or sexual assault. It is vital that the criminal justice system does not create more barriers for victims. “Refuge works with rape victims who have had their mobile phones taken from them, sometimes for more than a year and often without any explanation of how the police will use their messages, photos and … Continue reading

PICTUREHOUSE AND REFUGE LAUNCH MAJOR DOMESTIC ABUSE AWARENESS RAISING CAMPAIGN Domestic abuse is the biggest issue affecting women and children in our society today Picturehouse and Refuge announce national partnership and awareness raising campaign Prominent national cinema charity advertising campaign – Hide and Seek – launches to bring this hidden issue from the shadows into the public domain £50,000 fundraising target by Christmas; the equivalent of 962 nights in emergency refuge accommodation From 19 April 2019, Picturehouse and Refuge announce the start of a three year campaign to raise funds and awareness of domestic abuse; an issue which affects one … Continue reading

In response to the Government’s new violence against women and girls (VAWG) strategy launched today (6 March, 2019), our chief executive, Sandra Horley, says: “Refuge welcomes the Government’s refreshed Violence Against Women and Girls strategy and its ongoing commitment to address violence and abuse; an issue which is experienced by one woman in four across the country and over 800,000 children every year. “Refuge has been a lead voice in highlighting the pervasive and pernicious nature of technological abuse experienced by so many women and is heart-warmed to see the Government giving this issue more attention in today’s strategy. Given … Continue reading

Today (26 February, 2019) Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Fire and Rescue Service (HMICFRS) published an update report on the police response to domestic abuse. “Five years since the first report on police responses to domestic violence, the findings of the latest inspection sadly show there is still significant room for improvement. One in four women in the UK continue to be affected by domestic abuse in their lifetime, and two women are still killed by current or former partners every week in England and Wales,” said Sandra Horley CBE, Chief Executive of Refuge. “It is important to note that there … Continue reading

In 2011 Sally Challen was convicted of murdering her husband, Richard, and has since been serving an 18-year prison sentence. Yet, in light of a change in the law in 2015 recognising coercive control as a crime, Sally’s conviction will now be reviewed by the Court of Appeal on 27 February 2019. This landmark appeal could set a precedent in terms of recognising the psychological impact of coercive control on victims. In response to the appeal, Refuge’s CEO Sandra Horley, said: “One in four women in the UK from all walks of life will experience domestic abuse. You don’t have … Continue reading

In the lead-up to Valentine’s Day, hard-hitting reversible poem shines a spotlight on controlling behaviour and domestic violence to offer support to women The poem tells a harrowing domestic abuse tale when read in reverse order 13 February, 2018: Refuge, the UK’s largest domestic violence charity, has created a chilling poem that tells the story of a woman who has experienced domestic violence at the hands of an abusive man. Following a successful Christmas campaign, Refuge has published a reversible poem to emphasise the severity and pervasiveness of domestic violence on Valentine’s Day, and draw attention to the various forms … Continue reading

Refuge, the national domestic abuse charity, welcomes the draft Bill announced by the Government today and is pleased to see that it reflects many of the concerns of survivors of abuse and those working with them. “Refuge staff deal with the human misery of domestic violence every day. The cost to women and children’s lives is devastating. But now the immense cost to the taxpayer has been laid bare, too. Domestic violence is truly everybody’s business,” said Sandra Horley CBE, Chief Executive of Refuge. Sadly, though, it comes as no surprise to Refuge that domestic abuse is costing the British … Continue reading

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