Press Release

27 April 2022

Refuge reacts to new BBC data on court delays for survivors of sexual assault

Tracy Blackwell, Director of Strategic Insights and Partnerships at Refuge, said:

“This data underscores what we already know, and that is that survivors are so often denied access to justice or are let down by the system that is supposed to protect them.

“Court cases taking longer means more women will drop out of criminal proceedings, compounding their trauma. Delays also put extra strain on the specialist services that support women through the justice system, which are already chronically underfunded.

“To blame this crisis on the pandemic is completely disingenuous. Significant delays were already a major problem before covid hit. If the government is serious about tackling violence against women and girls, it needs to reverse the damage that funding cuts have done to our justice system and ensure that women have confidence to seek justice.”


Notes to Editors

  1. Sexual offence victims face longest-ever court waits
  2. Refuge’s response to the CPS Q3 performance stats on domestic abuse

About Refuge:

Refuge supports thousands of 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.

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 also has a Tech Safety Tool.
Visit Refuge’s Tech Safety Website at for information on tech abuse and to find guidance on how to secure your personal and home devices. For real time automated support Refuge also has a Tech Safety Tool.