Press Release

30 March 2020

Refuge responds to video posted by Billy Joe Saunders

In response to the video posted by Billy Joe Saunders, which appeared online over the weekend, Sandra Horley CBE, Chief Executive of national domestic abuse charity Refuge said:

‘Videos like this reinforce what we already know: society’s attitude towards domestic violence simply has to change. Sharing content like this is as dangerous as it is shocking and we should call it out for what it is. Unacceptable.

Almost one in three women aged 16-59 in England and Wales will experience domestic abuse at some point in her lifetime. Domestic abuse is never a joke. It should never be trivialised. Doing so serves only to normalise violence against women and girls when instead we should be steadfastly challenging it.

What sort of message does this video send to survivors of domestic abuse? That their experiences are not valid? That the abuse they experienced is trivial? That their experience is appropriate material for online jokes?

Across England and Wales 2 women every week are killed by a current of former partner. This statistic should horrify us all, and should mean any attempts to trivialise domestic abuse are met with resistance and shame.

Right now, across the country, women are isolated at home with abusive partners. Any woman who is afraid of their partner can call the national domestic abuse helpline, run by Refuge, on 0808 2000 247. If you are unable to call, you can fill in our webform at and let us know a safe time to contact you. Refuge is there for you, and you are not alone. Help and support is available’

For more information, please email