News | Press Release

8 March 2024

Refuge celebrates International Women’s Day by launching survivor-focussed photo mural

Refuge marks International Women’s Day 2024 celebrating survivors of domestic abuse speaking up and launching ‘We See You’ a new survivor focussed Art Mosaic in collaboration with artist Helen Marshall, founder of the People’s Picture. 

Refuge in partnership with The Independent also unveiled an exhibition of inspirational women at Outernet in London, for The Independent’s Independent Women: The Influence List 2024.

  • ‘We See You’ photo mosaic mural will be created by Helen Marshall of The People’s Picture.
  • Refuge is inviting survivors, supporters and frontline staff to submit photos or portraits in a way that feels safe and right for them if they would like to be involved in the mural.
  • Also today Refuge in partnership with The Independent launched a photo exhibit at The Outernet in Tottenham Court Road, unveiling an exclusive new portrait by Tracey Emin and portraits by Sane Seven to be auctioned off with funds going to Refuge.

Friday 8th March, International Women’s Day 2024, Refuge has announced a collaboration with Helen Marshall of The People’s Picture to create a photo mosaic mural celebrating the power of survivors of domestic abuse and other forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG) and the people who support them to speak up and share their stories. 

The project seeks to empower women who come forward when experiencing gender-based violence – whether it is domestic abuse, harassment, or misogyny to celebrate the strength and bravery of survivors and those who listen and support them.  

Refuge are asking individuals to submit photography in a way that will allow survivors to protect their anonymity, be this a selfie picture of their eye, or any part of their face that feels right and safe for them and contribute any words they would like to share about their story.  

Guidelines, safeguarding details and advice are available on the submission webpage. AI generated images, sketches and other art forms of a survivors choosing will be welcomed and creativity is encouraged. The individual image submissions will go into creating one final image showing the strength of many women tackling domestic abuse together as a social issue. The final large-scale mosaic mural will be unveiled later this year. 

Announcing the project Louise Firth, Director of Fundraising and Communications said: 

“Fear of not being believed can be a huge barrier to seeking support and leaving an abuser. Many women tell us just how much of a relief it is to be heard and listened to the first time they speak to our National Domestic Abuse Helpline. If we are to end this epidemic of violence against women and girls, we must create a safe space for more women to come forward and share their story so they can get the support they need. That is why we are so delighted to be collaborating with Helen Marshall to celebrate the strength and bravery of every woman who has shared her story – and acknowledge every woman who has helped her feel seen – by supporting and believing in her. The final artwork will be for survivors and their stories. For the women who have helped them feel seen, frontline workers such as those working in Refuge’s services and across the Helpline, volunteers, key workers, family, friends. And for everyone who supports an end to VAWG and wants to pledge their support to survivors of domestic abuse.” 

Helen Marshall, Artist and Founder, the People’s Picture said: 

“Our eyes and our vision are a direct pathway to our hearts. From my own personal experience this project is close to my heart, and what we see in this world we carry in our hearts. I hope this project is a visual refuge and a chance to tell your story without judgement or fear.

Full details of the collaboration are available here: Refuge – The People’s Picture (


In addition to launching this collaborative art project with The People’s Picture this International Women’s Day, Refuge in partnership with The Independent unveiled a photo exhibition at Outernet in Tottenham Court Road shot by visionary photographer Sane Seven.  

The project led by The Independent as part of their Independent Women: The Influence List 2024 showcased ten specially commissioned portraits of The Independent’s listees. The images are powerful black and white depictions of a varied selection of extraordinary women, who have come together to raise money and awareness for Refuge.

In addition, world-renowned British artist, Tracey Emin, has generously donated an exclusive, one-off photographic portrait for the occasion, to raise money and awareness for Refuge. The image, entitled ‘The Empty Room’, shows Emin reclining in what she refers to as ‘the empty room’, with one of her beloved cats, Teacup, resting under her legs. Her urostomy tube falls from her stoma at her waist side.

The 11 portraits were unveiled in London today, International Women’s Day 2024, and will be exclusively exhibited in Outernet’s space Now Trending, completely free for all audiences, right in the centre of London by Tottenham Court Road Station. The images will be exhibited for the month before being sold off to raise much needed funds for Refuge’s lifesaving and life changing domestic abuse services.

Notes to Editor:

  • Full details of the collaboration with Refuge and The People’s Picture and link to send submissions are available here: Refuge – The People’s Picture ( 
  • For more details of Refuge’s IWD (International Women s Day) collaboration with The Independent and to register interest in purchasing one of the Sane Seven portraits – funds of which will go to Refuge click here: 
  • In alphabetical order, the 10 women photographed by Sane Seven in partnership with The Independent to be sold for Refuge are:

Amy Dowden — dancer and presenter 

Anna Whitehouse — journalist, author, broadcaster and campaigner 

Carol Vorderman — broadcaster, author and TV presenter 

Baroness Floella Benjamin OM DBEpolitician, author, presenter, campaigner and actor  

Jameela Jamil — actor, presenter, writer and activist 

Kate Garraway MBE — broadcaster and journalist 

Maggie Alphonsi MBE — Rugby World Cup winner, broadcaster and speaker 

The Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP — politician 

Rosie Jones — comedian, writer and actor 

Sara Pascoe — comedian and author