Press Release

17 August 2022

Refuge responds to new College of Policing guidance on misconduct and violence against women and girls

Ruth Davison, Refuge CEO said:

“Refuge welcomes this long-overdue decision to ensure that the police move away from the culture of violent misogyny. People of colour and women have said for decades that the police are institutionally racist and misogynistic, so it is shocking a measure such as this hasn’t been introduced sooner.

1,300 police officers and staff have been reported for alleged domestic abuse offences since 2018 but of those only 36 have been dismissed, and police officers are a third less likely to be convicted for domestic abuse than non-police officers. For too long this behaviour has gone unchecked as police officers closed ranks protecting perpetrators of abuse. The bare minimum a woman should expect when she takes the brave step to report domestic abuse, is that the officer she speaks to is not a perpetrator himself.

Public trust in law enforcement is woefully low, so this is a positive first step in rebuilding public trust. Further action to root out and end the culture of violent misogyny which has been laid bare in recent cases is urgently needed to help ensure women and girls have confidence in the police to protect them.”


Notes to editors

  1. More about the College of Policing guidance can be found here.

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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 support with tech abuse visit