Our mission

Domestic abuse and violence against women and girls will only end when we create gender equality. Refuge is committed to a world where domestic abuse and violence against women and girls is not tolerated, and where women and children can live in safety.

We believe a world without violence and fear is possible.

We provide the highest quality services for survivors.

Refuge provides a range of life saving and life changing services. We put the experiences of survivors at the heart of our work and help amplify their voices. Our specialist staff understands the diverse and complex needs of women and their children – and we are experts in the dynamics of domestic abuse and gender-based violence.

  • We helped design the first National Occupational Standards for domestic violence, which set out the specialised knowledge and skills needed to deliver the highest-quality support. We then developed these standards into Ofqual-accredited qualifications, demonstrating what best practice looks like on the ground.
  • Everything we do is evidence-led. We use survivor feedback, knowledge and experience to continuously learn, improve and innovate our services based on what we know works.
  • We provide comprehensive specialist training to our own staff and volunteers on a wide range of issues, and also train professionals in their local communities — including police officers, teachers, and GPs — on how to respond appropriately to domestic abuse.

We protect survivors by helping to drive policy change.

Refuge advocates for changes to policy, practice and legislation that will better protect survivors of domestic abuse and prevent future abuse. That includes driving policies to ensure the sustainability of life-saving domestic abuse services.

We also build partnerships with other organisations doing vital work in this area, sharing and growing our expertise to expand our impact. This includes organisations with deep knowledge of specific marginalised groups of women, to understand how we as a society can meet the specialised needs — and overcome the unique challenges to access — faced by certain groups.

We prevent future abuse by shifting perceptions.

Refuge believes that domestic abuse is a gendered crime that will not end until we have radical culture change which addresses gender inequality. We know that we need to challenge and change public attitudes, and raise awareness of the different forms domestic abuse can take. That’s why we:

  • Run national, award-winning awareness-raising campaigns, which educate the public on domestic violence and show women experiencing abuse that they are not alone
  • Train professionals who come into contact with abused women, including police officers, doctors, social workers and midwives
  • Work to end gender inequality, which is the root cause of domestic abuse

Our values

We are a charity whose core purpose is to promote equality by creating better experiences for women, girls and their families.

Take a look at our commitment to EDI (Equality, diversity and inclusion).