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Refuge is delighted that the Government has announced plans to keep housing benefit in place for all those living in supported housing – something that Refuge has long championed for. Sandra Horley, CBE, Chief Executive of Refuge says: “Today’s announcement follows much lobbying by Refuge to protect funding for women’s refuges; emergency accommodation which provides a lifeline to women escaping domestic violence, a crime which claims the lives of around two women every week in England and Wales alone. “Refuge has worked closely with MHCLG to ensure the survivors of domestic abuse are at the centre of decision-making. “Housing benefit … Continue reading

It is disappointing that someone in the position of Mariella Frostrup would treat disclosure of abuse so flippantly, in this case belittling the concerns of a victim specifically seeking her advice and potentially discouraging other readers from getting help. Domestic abuse takes many devastating forms – physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, financial, among others – it is often hidden, it should always be taken seriously. A pattern of behaviour designed to control and in many cases, as with this one, isolate victims, abuse often becomes more frequent and severe over time. It can begin at any stage of a relationship, but … Continue reading

Refuge applauds the Work and Pensions Committee for its strong report and recommendations on Universal Credit and Domestic Abuse. “We are hugely encouraged that the Committee has recognised Refuge’s argument that single Universal Credit payments represent a real risk for survivors of abuse. We now urge the Government to follow through and make the necessary amendments to protect women and their children from economic abuse,” said Sandra Horley, CBE, Chief Executive of Refuge. “It is essential that the system does not roll back years of hard-won women’s equality, limiting their financial independence by handing the purse-strings to the ‘man of … Continue reading

‘Suicide must not appear to be the only escape for some victims of abuse’ There must be greater recognition of the risk of suicide among victims of domestic abuse and increased provision of specialist services for survivors and their children, urges Refuge, the national domestic violence charity. In one of the largest studies of its kind, and the first in the UK, staff from Refuge and the University of Warwick looked at the experiences of more than 3,500 of Refuge’s clients with the aim of informing policy and practice in relation to victims of abuse who are at an increased … Continue reading

With the Government’s Domestic Abuse Bill consultation closing today (31.05.2018), Refuge believes that no one should be subjected to abuse or violence and appropriate support and protection should be available to all. We commend the Government’s efforts to introduce a Domestic Abuse Bill; we will continue to work closely with the Home Office and others to ensure the Bill reflects both the reality of the problem and adopts the best approaches to tackling the issue. “In order to make the greatest difference to the lives of survivors of domestic abuse and to stamp out the root causes of this widespread … Continue reading

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