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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

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