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An investigation by the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme has found that more than half of UK police forces are handing over victims of crime to the Home Office for immigration enforcement. Sandra Horley CBE, Chief Executive of Refuge, said: “Refuge has recognised a nexus between domestic violence and trafficking for many years. We know that victims of modern slavery and human trafficking are often hard to identify. We need the police to understand this nexus and investigate what lies behind the violence a victim suffers and refer them to organisations like Refuge. “Refuge works with victims of modern slavery and … Continue reading

Refuge takes utmost pride in having maintained its BSI (British Standards Institution) ISO 9001 certification – validation of Refuge’s commitment to providing the best possible support to the survivors of domestic abuse and other gender-based violence. The BSI audit reviewed the management of specialist services run by Refuge, including women’s refuges, culturally specific support for women from black and minority ethnic communities, outreach and independent domestic violence, sexual violence advocacy and other gender violence services. Refuge became the first domestic violence organisation in the country to achieve the internationally-recognised ISO 9001 certification by BSI in 2010. Since then, Refuge has … Continue reading

The National Crime Agency (NCA) published a report today, 26 March 2018, which has revealed that the number of potential victims of human trafficking and modern slavery reported to the authorities rose by more than a third in 2017. Sandra Horley, CBE, chief executive of Refuge, says: “The figures published today on modern slavery in the UK make for a disturbing read. But, sadly, they are a reflection of what Refuge staff see increasingly when supporting women and children escaping violence and abuse. “In our experience, many of the women subjected to modern slavery present, initially, as victims of domestic … Continue reading

Details of the Domestic Abuse Bill announced so far are promising. Refuge believes that putting survivors at the heart of efforts to stamp out domestic abuse is crucial and applauds the aim of the Bill in this respect. Refuge also welcomed the chance to discuss it in more detail with the Prime Minister, Home Secretary and survivors of abuse at an event at Downing Street to mark International Women’s Day. “Meeting survivors acknowledges their experiences and helps ensure their voices are heard. We truly hope that the final Bill delivers on the promise to protect and support victims of domestic … Continue reading

Refuge is delighted that the Government has launched the Domestic Abuse Bill consultation on International Women’s Day today (8 March) by the Prime Minister Theresa May, Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Justice Secretary David Gauke. We believe there are some very positive elements in the proposed Bill and we are particularly delighted to hear that the Government is committed to building new sustainable funding streams for refuges – which at the moment are in grave danger of collapse if proposed changes go through. It is also great to see survivors at the heart of the Bill – we have worked … Continue reading

Refuge welcomes the Sentencing Council’s new domestic abuse guidelines which launched today, 22 February, 2018. Survivors of domestic abuse who have accessed Refuge’s services and our expert frontline staff met the Sentencing Council in 2017 to discuss and develop the guidelines, and we believe they go a long way to help women and children fleeing abusive relationships. Sandra Horley, CBE, CEO of Refuge, says: “These new sentencing guidelines are a huge step forward for women escaping domestic violence. Refuge has long campaigned for crimes committed in a domestic context to be treated as seriously, if not more seriously, than any … Continue reading

Date for your Diary: City of London International Women’s Day Friday 9th March 2018 – 8:00am – 11:00am Great Hall, Guildhall, London EC2 Make a note in your diary for the morning of Friday 9 March 2018 for the City of London International Women’s Day Breakfast. We are delighted that journalist and ITV newsreader Julie Etchingham will be in the chair with a panel of distinguished speakers including: Her Honour Judge Anuja Ravindra Dhir QC London Fire Brigade Commissioner, Dany Cotton QFSM The event celebrates the contribution of women to the Square Mile with a particular focus on encouraging and supporting young … Continue reading

Single biggest threat to the future of refuges for abused women and children: Government’s proposed funding for supported housing Hundreds of specialist women’s refuges could shut if the proposals are followed through Local authorities are under no obligation to fund refuges Generic emergency housing provision is not appropriate for the survivors of abuse Currently, the majority of women seeking a space in a specialist refuge are turned away due to insufficient places, this situation will only get worse The ‘local’ approach taken by some local councils means women, who need to be located in a different area to guarantee their … Continue reading

Sandra Horley CBE, CEO of Refuge, responds to the conviction of Theodore Johnson for the murder of Angela Best. “Theodore Johnson spent his entire life terrorising women. By the time he met Ms Best he had killed both his wife and a second ex-partner. It is utterly horrifying that a man with a known personality disorder and two manslaughter convictions was trusted to keep his doctors and social workers informed about his relationships. “Women have a right to be protected from violent men. But even in 2018 the agencies which are supposed to support them keep failing in this basic … Continue reading

To mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women Refuge CEO Sandra Horley CBE was interviewed by the British Council. Sandra is a committed campaigner on behalf of abused women and children who advises governments internationally on gender-based violence and criminal justice. She looks back at an innovative workshop on women’s rights that she delivered in Mangochi, Southern Malawi, in 1995 at the invitation of the British Council. It resulted in the criminalisation of marital rape in Malawi. But was a change in the law enough to change things? Reena Johl, Country Director, Malawi, goes on to tell … Continue reading