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Freephone 24-Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247
or visit www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk (access live chat Mon-Fri 3-10pm)

News

73% of frontline workers surveyed said that the cost-of-living crisis is increasing barriers to leaving a perpetrator 75% of respondents said the crisis meant survivors needed to use food banks for essentials 92% said it is pushing survivors further into debt Refuge calls for immediate reforms to the way welfare benefits are paid to survivors, to address cost of living crisis, and for emergency payments to be increased. Refuge, the country’s largest single provider of specialist domestic abuse services, is today sounding the alarm on the impact the cost-of-living crisis is having on the women and children they support, with … Continue reading

In response to the Police perpetrated domestic abuse joint report from HMICFRS, CoP and IOPC, Ruth Davison, Refuge CEO said: Refuge is grateful to Centre for Women’s Justice (CWJ) for submitting this super-complaint and their tireless work fighting for improved criminal justice outcomes for survivors of violence against women and girls (VAWG.) Refuge knows only too well how the criminal justice system routinely fails women and how the police fail to address violence against women and domestic abuse when it is perpetrated from within their own ranks. While this report finds that criminal investigation of police perpetrated domestic abuse is … Continue reading

Ruth Davison, Refuge Chief Executive Officer, said: “Today marks ten years since the UK signed the Istanbul Convention, an important piece of legislation offering protections to women across Europe, setting out minimum standards which European countries should adhere to in law to prevent and combat domestic abuse and violence against women. The Convention is the first legally binding instrument which creates a comprehensive legal framework and approach to combat violence against women and signing should have represented a ground breaking moment. Regrettably, the UK has yet to ratify the treaty despite adding its signature a decade ago. The government has … Continue reading

Responding to the verdict in Depp v Heard, Ruth Davison, Refuge CEO said: As the largest specialist provider of support to women and children experiencing domestic abuse, Refuge is extremely concerned by the Depp-Heard trial. The verdict sends a chilling message to many survivors of domestic abuse that their experiences are invalid and open to public scrutiny. Refuge stands in solidarity with all survivors of domestic abuse and believes that all survivors must be believed and supported. Sadly, this isn’t always the case. We know that many survivors are already afraid to report the crimes committed against them. Survivors face … Continue reading

CEO Ruth Davison resigns her fellowship of the Institute and Refuge resigns as an organisational member.

Ruth Davison, Refuge CEO said:

‘It is with enormous sadness that I have today resigned as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising, as well as formally notifying the Chief Executive that Refuge is resigning as an organisational member. Both decisions are effective immediately and supported unanimously by Refuges fundraising leadership team as well as our Chair of Trustees.

As an organisation which addresses domestic abuse and Violence Against Women and Girls, it is entirely incompatible with our values to remain members of an Institute who are not taking action to ensure it keeps women safe.

Over the last 18 months, Refuge has declined all invitations to speak at the Institutes events. I remained a Fellow, hoping to be able to continue to work with others to address both the serious concerns I had about the Institute’s culture; as well as the handling of complaints they received last year. I have found this to be fruitless as – even under new leadership – there appears to be no organisational desire to meaningfully change.

Last year, serious allegations were made by women who had experienced and witnessed sexual assault and harassment inside the Institute.
These complaints were appallingly mishandled, with complainants being gaslit, ignored and further harmed. Their personal wellbeing and professional development have both been impacted.. Refuge stands in solidarity with the women who have been failed by the Institute. We are also particularly sad to see the Institute failing to make its training and development offers available on an inclusive basis that could allow a far wider and more diverse group of fundraisers, as well as those who no longer feel safe to attend events in person, to benefit from training and development.

Fundraising is a profession full of young women who deserve to be safe at events and not to have their access to training and development limited or compromised by an organisation which refuses to take their needs seriously. By being unable to offer adequate assurances that it is trying to change, I am left with no choice but to resign my Fellowship. I am proud that my talented Fundraising Department has also chosen to resign our organisational membership. Sadly, the Institutes values have moved too far from values that Refuge and I work to uphold within our profession.

Refuge will continue to collaborate with other platforms to share our own fundraising successes, failures and learnings across the sector. ‘

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Interviews available on request, please contact the Refuge press team on 0207 395 7731 or email press@refuge.org.uk

About Refuge:

Refuge supports thousands of women and children on any given day, and runs the National Domestic Abuse Helplin.e, which is the gateway to accessing specialist support across the country. More than one in four women in England and Wales experiences domestic abuse at some point in their lifetime, and two women a week are killed by a current or former partner.

Please signpost to Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247, available 24 hours a day 7 days a week for free, confidential specialist support. Or visit www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk to fill in a webform and request a safe time to be contacted or to access live chat (live chat available 3pm-10pm, Monday to Friday). For real time automated guidance on how to secure your personal devices Refuge also has a Tech Safety Tool.

Visit Refuge’s Tech Safety Website at www.RefugeTechSafety.org for information on tech abuse and to find guidance on how to secure your personal and home devices. For real time automated support Refuge also has a Tech Safety Tool.

 

Responding to the news that the Met has charged four attendees of the vigil for Sarah Everard, Refuge CEO Ruth Davison said: ‘We strongly disagree with this decision by the Met. After their application to appeal the judgement against them brought by Reclaim These Streets was refused for the second time, they should have sensed the public temperature and ceased any further action. With trust in the police incredibly low, it is absurd that the force is attempting to prosecute individuals who attended a peaceful gathering for a young woman who was kidnapped and murdered by a serving officer. The … Continue reading

Responding to the Ofcom call for tech companies to do more to protect women online, Refuge CEO Ruth Davison said: ‘This is an important announcement from Ofcom which mirrors what Refuge has long been saying – that big tech companies need to do much more to protect women and girls from online harms and abuse. Right now, the Online Safety Bill is making its way through the parliamentary process. This Bill has the ability to make positive strides forward in addressing online Violence Against Women and Girls, but it is currently falling short. Refuge is disappointed that the Bill currently … Continue reading

Refuge, the country’s largest single provider of specialist domestic abuser services, is delighted to announce journalist Ranvir Singh and actress Saffron Hocking as Ambassadors. Both have played an important role in highlighting domestic abuse and violence against women and girls in their respective fields. Ranvir, a prominent journalist, has covered stories on domestic abuse throughout her career, and Saffron, an actress, is currently playing Lauryn, in Top Boy, a young female character who experiences abuse. Ensuring domestic abuse is covered sensitively and accurately both in reporting and in popular culture helps both dispel the myths surrounding it, as well as … Continue reading

In response to the publication of the draft Victims Bill, Refuge CEO Ruth Davison said: “The Victims Bill is an important piece of legislation which aims to put victim-survivors, back at the heart of the justice system, a move which Refuge welcomes. We are particularly pleased that the principles of the Victims Code will be enshrined in law, meaning survivors will now be provided with the necessary information to help them navigate and challenge the criminal justice system. However, there is still a long road ahead to making the criminal justice system work for survivors. Barriers are already high to … Continue reading

Commenting on today’s Public Bill Committee for the Online Safety Bill, Ruth Davison, CEO of Refuge, said: “Today the Online Safety Bill is back before Parliament for scrutiny by the Bill Committee. This presents a huge opportunity for the Bill to be strengthened and for the Government to show it is serious about tackling online violence against women and girls. “For too long social media companies have not been held to account when abuse is perpetrated on their platforms, including domestic abuse, stalking, and online grooming of girls. “Last week a coalition of experts including Refuge published a violence against … Continue reading

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