Press Release

3 November 2020

Refuge statement on latest lockdown period

As the country moves into a new period of lockdown and restrictions, Jane Keeper, Refuge’s director of operations said:

‘This is of course a time of great concern for women living with abusive partners. We know that the window to get help is ordinarily very limited –  that window narrows even further when isolated at home with an abusive partner. What we saw earlier this year as the country entered the first stage of lockdown was a large spike in demand for our services. We are fully prepared for that to continue as we move into new restrictions. I want to reassure any woman who needs us that our services have remained open and have remained safe during lockdown. There were no disruptions and women who needed us were able to reach us and access the help they needed.

The necessary changes to our services were put in place very swiftly earlier this year, as the first wave of lockdown started, meaning Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline, ordinarily run from a cyber secure, impenetrable office, was quickly adapted to run as a remote service. That continues, and our services will remain open for any women who needs to access our support.  Additionally, in preparation for any second lockdown,  Refuge has also extended the hours of its live chat facility. Now, between 3-10pm Monday to Friday, any woman needing our support can access live chat with an expertly trained Helpline worker, by visiting It is vital women have a variety of ways in which they can access help and we have ensured there are ways in which this can happen online, when we know calling for help is more challenging. With so much of our lives being lived online, it is vital that the support women can receive is digitally accessible too. ‘


For more information contact the press office on  0207 395 7731 or email

Refuge encourages all media outlets reporting on lockdown to signpost to Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline, for free and confidential support, 24 hours a day,  call 0808 2000 247 or visit to access live chat.