Press Release

1 February 2021

Refuge responds to government announcement of funding pot for victims of rape and domestic abuse

In response to the governments announcement of a £40 million funding pot, Tracy Blackwell, head of development at Refuge said:

‘Never before have so many survivors of domestic and sexual abuse come forward for support than during the Covide-19 crisis. Refuge hopes to turn to this £40million pot to fund the life-saving IDVA (Independent Domestic Violence Advocate) services it runs which urgently need financial support. We anticipate demand for these services to increase once the court system is back up and running – there are hundreds of thousands of cases held in the backlog which will need their day in court.

However, this is another short-term pot of funding which cannot meet the urgent need for a sustainable funding strategy which provides for all specialist services – including Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline which needs additional long-term funding to deal with increased demand. Our Helpline acts as a lifeline to women and children who experience abuse – and offers them the gateway to services across the country. This service, alongside the many others we run across the country, including refuges, outreach services, and other vital community-based services save and change lives and must run with the assurance of adequate funding.

Refuge calls on the government to end its short-term approach to announcing ad-hoc pots of funding and instead build and fund long term plans that sustain and grow essential services. Women and children’s lives depend on it.’


Notes to Editors

Refuge supports more than 7,000 women and children on any given day, and runs the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, 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. With a sharp rise in women seeking support during lockdown, and as the country is moved into a third lockdown the need to address the response to domestic abuse has never been greater.

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 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 has a Tech Safety Tool at