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Refuge welcomes today’s announcement of the Domestic Abuse Bill and seeing the Government tackle the vital topic of domestic abuse. Reforming the criminal justice system is vitally important but so is providing emergency accommodation. Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of Refuge, said: “Refuge welcomes the Domestic Abuse Bill and the important changes it will bring. Domestic abuse is the biggest issue affecting women and children in this country today. “The Prime Minister, Theresa May, has championed the issue of domestic abuse and has brought this important piece of legislation to bear.  As the Bill stands it will bring about changes to the … Continue reading

Government vows to end ‘postcode lottery’ for victims of Domestic Abuse Councils in England will have a legal duty to provide secure accommodation for victims of domestic abuse under new plans announced by Theresa May. Sandra Horley, CBE, chief executive of Refuge, national domestic violence charity, says: “Refuge is delighted by the Government’s decision to place a legal duty on local authorities to provide funding for accommodation based support for survivors of domestic abuse. This has the potential to end the post code lottery for refuge places and could put these life-saving services on a secure financial footing for the … 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

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

Refuge responds to the latest HMIC report on police response to domestic violence Sandra Horley, CBE, chief executive of Refuge says: “HMICFRS report makes for very grim reading.   Refuge is deeply concerned that despite an abundance of good intentions and training initiatives, little appears to have changed for victims of domestic abuse. We are particularly worried to discover that there has been a fall in the number of arrests made and referrals to the Crown Prosecution Service.  It is abundantly clear that the current policy of police discretion in cases of domestic violence is not working and that the abuse … Continue reading