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Refuge and campaigner Erica Osakwe respond to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill debate. Ruth Davison, CEO of Refuge said: ‘We are grateful to Yvette Cooper for today raising the issue of common assault perpetrated in domestic abuse contexts and the ‘timing out’ of access to justice for so many women who are unsafe or unable to report the incident to police immediately. Women like Erica Osakwe, who launched ‘victims too’ last year, after reporting her abuse to the police, only to have her case closed almost as soon as it was opened. Women like Erica deserve so much … Continue reading

Refuge responds to the Report ‘Understanding Court Support For Victims Of Domestic Abuse’ commissioned by Nicole Jacobs and carried out by SafeLives.   Ruth Davison, Refuge CEO said: ‘It is disappointing but not surprising to find the vast majority of domestic abuse survivors are not receiving the specialist support they need in the court system and are finding the court process traumatic. The report published today by SafeLives and commissioned by the Domestic Abuse Commissioner shows that 89% of domestic abuse victims didn’t get any support through the family courts. Specialist domestic abuse services have been decimated by funding cuts … Continue reading

EU Settlement Scheme Deadline 30 June 2021: Refuge reports that many survivors of domestic abuse are yet to apply for Settled Status and fear this will put vulnerable families at further risk.    With the 30 June deadline for applying for the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) fast approaching, reports from Refuge’s frontline services indicate that many migrant survivors of domestic abuse remain unaware that they need to apply to the scheme, or know how to make an application. Many are reportedly unaware that they must also apply for the scheme on behalf of their children and other dependants.    In the years between 2018-2021, 46% of survivors supported by Refuge’s specialist Eastern European advocacy service required language support, with many prevented from learning English … Continue reading

Refuge, Women’s Aid and the Centre for Women’s Justice launch joint campaign on Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill Organisations across the women’s sector have joined forces to campaign for a change to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which would extend the length of time survivors have to report incidents of common assault to the police from the current six months to a maximum of 18 months. This would remove a critical barrier survivors face when seeking justice against their perpetrator and protection for themselves and their children. The three organisations have launched a mobilisation campaign, which they hope will show parliament and the government the strength of support for reform. The online campaign calls for MPs to support an … Continue reading

Refuge responds to HMICFRS inspection into policing of domestic abuse during the pandemic. In response to the publication of the inspection findings, Lisa King, OBE, Refuge director of communications and external affairs said: ‘Refuge has serious concerns about some of the findings from today’s HMICFRS inspection into the policing of domestic abuse, particularly how they relate to the wider criminal justice response to domestic abuse. Despite a 15% increase in arrests between April and June 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, the charging rate has dropped – from 23.2% in 2016 to a shocking 9% in 2020. Considering … Continue reading

Refuge welcomes the government’s apology for systemic failings on rape, and stands with our sector partners who are leading the response to the end-to-end rape review and continuing to hold the government to account. While Refuge welcomes the publication of this rape review, delayed since 2019, and the government’s apology for systemic failings on rape, we remain concerned that this review does not include sufficiently ambitious or timely plans to improve investigations, prosecutions and convictions for rape and sexual assault. The statistics in the review should provide a sharp wake-up call – and, while an apology from the government is … Continue reading

Refuge statement on the sharing of images on social media which glorify and normalise domestic abuse ahead of England’s game against Scotland this evening. Refuge unequivocally condemns the images, films and memes which are being shared on social media ahead of the England v Scotland game this evening, which glorify violence against women and girls and domestic abuse. They have turned our stomachs. They are wholly unacceptable. Two women a week across England and Wales are killed by a current or former partner, and one in four women experience domestic abuse at some point in their lifetime. Portraying violence against … Continue reading

Refuge communications and external relations director receives OBE. Refuge is thrilled that our director of communications and external relations, Lisa King, has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honors list 2021, receiving an OBE. Lisa joined refuge 18 years ago, as a 30-year-old, who had worked in a traditional PR role. Over 18 years, Lisa has been at the centre of Refuge’s growth, now the largest single provider of specialist domestic abuse services in the country. Leading the organisations communications and external relations department has seen Lisa become a regular media commentator, not only delivering Refuge’s messages, but also supporting … Continue reading

Our director of communications and external relations Lisa King has been recognised in the Queens Birthday Honours List 2021, with an OBE, for her work at Refuge. Lisa has been at Refuge for 18 years and in that time has been part of many of our key achievements. Lisa tells us what this honour means to her: A woman called Julia Pemberton. lit my passion for raising awareness of the impact of domestic abuse. I never knew Julia because she tragically died before I joined Refuge. But I had the pleasure of meeting her brother, Frank Mullane who told me … Continue reading

As a football fan – and a domestic abuser worker – this is what I want you to know.  Kim Manning-Cooper, Refuge head of communications Tonight, the long-awaited Euros start. The tournament that should have begun last summer, paused because of the pandemic, will be about so much more than the start of a football tournament. It will symbolise the return of a new ‘normality’, fans back in stadiums, groups gathering in pubs and in the sun to watch games, us all debating just how Gareth Southgate will arrange that back line, what formation will he go with, will Grealish … Continue reading