Press Release

2 April 2020

Refuge and Chelsea FC join up to raise awareness of domestic abuse

Refuge and Chelsea FC join up to raise awareness of domestic abuse.

Chelsea to gift match donations to national domestic abuse charity Refuge, in outstanding gesture of support.

Refuge is delighted to have teamed up with Chelsea FC to raise awareness and much needed funds to support women and children experiencing domestic abuse during the current Coronavirus pandemic.

Last year 1.6 million women in the UK suffered from domestic abuse. Reports from around the world show that the Covid-19 global pandemic has led to an increase in domestic abuse incidents during periods of isolation and lock down. Experts are warning that the coronavirus outbreak will lead to a “domestic abuse pandemic”.

Self-isolation has the potential to aggravate pre-existing abusive behaviours by perpetrators and can make it more challenging for women to report and seek support. The window for women to seek help ordinarily is extremely limited. The current periods of isolation mean that window is reduced yet more. Refuge wants women to know they are not alone and can still access its support, via its specialist services that run across the country, by telephone and digitally.

To support Refuge’s life-changing and life-saving work and help raise awareness and funds, Chelsea FC Women’s manager Emma Hayes along with players from the women’s and men’s team have taken part in a digital campaign to ensure those in need of support know they are not alone. The campaign will also raise funds for Refuge, with Chelsea promising to match all donations received in the next six-week period.

Hayes said: “I am proud to lead the club’s support of this worthy cause during such a difficult time for so many. There are many things for people to deal with in the present climate but it is important we support the vulnerable and those who may feel alone or without a voice. I hope this campaign can do that and make a difference to those who need support.”

Men’s captain Cesar Azpilicueta added: ‘‘Domestic violence is such a serious issue in society and we must double our efforts to look after those in danger during this ongoing pandemic. I am so proud of my club for supporting Refuge in its vital work protecting vulnerable women and children.”

Sandra Horley, CBE, chief executive of Refuge said: “Domestic abuse is the biggest issue affecting women and children in this country. Almost one in three women aged between 16-59 experience domestic abuse in their lifetimes in the UK and two women are killed in England and Wales every week by a current or former partner. This is a life and death issue. Now, more than ever, Refuge needs to reach women and their children who are in need of its services. We want women across the country today to know that Refuge is there to support them around the clock – they are not alone.

Thanks to Chelsea FC and its supporters we hope to raise much needed funds and reach many more women experiencing abuse. Together we can save and change lives.”

Refuge provides a national network of specialist services which support around 6,500 women and children every day, including emergency accommodation, community outreach, independent domestic violence advocacy (IDVAs), culturally specific services and a team of child support workers.

Refuge also runs the Freephone 24-Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline, 0808 2000 247, which currently logs over 270 calls and contacts every day. The National Domestic Abuse Helpline website provides additional support information and an online form where women can request a safe time to be called back. This online method of accessing support is especially important now when telephoning for help may be more difficult.

Women can also receive automated guidance via Refuge’s techbot on how to secure their devices.

To donate to the campaign please click

Spokespeople available on request. Please contact the press office on 0207 395 7731 or email