Refuge welcomes £20m funding for specialist refuges


Responding to news that the Department of Communities and Local Government will announce £20m of funding over two years to support survivors of domestic violence, Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of national domestic violence charity Refuge, said:

“Refuge welcomes today’s funding announcement from the DCLG. This money – which will be spent on specialist refuges – is a really positive step. Two women are killed every week in England and Wales by a current or former partner; refuges are often the only escape route for women and children in fear of losing their lives. Refuges provide women and children with much needed safety, expert support and the building blocks they need to begin a new life, free from fear.

“Over the last few years refuges across the country have experienced severe funding cuts; their very existence has been put at risk. In some local authority areas, refuges have been totally lost. Today’s announcement shows the Government is listening to what Refuge, and the women and children it supports, really need. £20m over two years will provide a vital lifeline for women and children in need of protection. Sadly, this £20m alone will not meet the gap; and Refuge hopes that the Government will develop a sustainable funding strategy for refuge provision. Only then will women and children be able to access the safety and support they so desperately need.”

Additional notes

• Refuge opened the world’s first women’s refuge in 1971 and is now the largest provider of specialist services to women and children fleeing domestic violence in the country
• Refuge supports more than 4,000 women and children on any given day
• Since 2011, Refuge has experienced funding cuts to 80% of its services, with some being cut by up to 50%
• The Council of Europe recommendation is for at least one family place in refuge per 10,000 of the population. This country has always fallen below this recommendation

For more information, please contact the Refuge press office on or 0207 395 7731. Out of hours and weekend enquiries: 07970 894240