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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

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