Refuge saves the health service and criminal justice system £5.9 million a year


Today, Refuge – the national domestic violence charity which supports more than 8,000 women and children a year – reveals the huge savings it generates for the State. Counting only the support given to 5,000 of its clients, Refuge’s specialist services save £5.9 million* of public money a year, across both the health service and criminal justice system.

The evaluation – conducted by NEF Consulting [1] – also revealed that for every £1 invested in Refuge’s services, there is a return on investment for clients, their families and society at large equivalent to £4.94 in social value.

Amber Rudd and Sandra for press release

Refuge chief executive, Sandra Horley CBE, said: “This year Refuge celebrates its 45th birthday. Four and a half decades ago Refuge opened the world’s first refuge and today supports more than 4,500 women and children on any given day, across a whole host of different services. Our specialist services are as important today as they were back in 1971. Still, the police receive a domestic violence related call every 30 seconds; still two women a week are killed by a partner or former partner in England and Wales. Domestic violence is still the biggest issue affecting women and children in this country.

“Refuge has always known that its services save lives and changes lives. Today’s research from NEF Consulting demonstrates that Refuge’s specialist services also provide a near fivefold social return on investment, saving the State millions of pounds every year. In these times of financial austerity, where every penny must be carefully counted, it is wonderful to be able to evidence that Refuge’s specialist services not only save lives, but also save money.”

Home Secretary, The Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP, said: “I want to congratulate Refuge on their 45th anniversary and thank them for the fantastic work they do to support the victims of these horrendous crimes.

“This Government is committed to tackling violence against women and girls and we have pledged £80 million in funding to ensure victims of abuse have access to the support they need. We have also created a new offence that captures coercive and controlling behaviour and taken forward new ways of protecting the victims of domestic violence through Clare’s Law and Domestic Violence Protection Orders.

“Progress is being made and we will continue to work with partners, including Refuge, to ensure victims feel confident to come forward to report these crimes and seek support.”

For more information NEF Consulting’s findings and methodology, please see the summary here, or the full report here, or email

* £1.7 million saved in the criminal justice system; £4.2 million saved to the healthcare system, calculated looking at a subset of just 5,000 of the clients supported by Refuge’s specialist services

[1] NEF Consulting is the consultancy arm of the New Economics Foundation (NEF), helping organisations on the journey towards a new sustainable economy.

Amber Rudd at 45th birthday for press release

Home Secretary Amber Rudd speaks at Refuge’s 45th anniversary event on 21st November in the River Room, House of Lords.











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