Press Release

3 March 2021

Refuge responds to 2021 Budget

Tracy Blackwell, Refuge head of development said:

‘The Chancellor is right to refer to domestic abuse as a ‘hidden tragedy’ but sadly this hidden tragedy is not just limited to lockdown. Women experience male violence all year round and financial support for frontline services must reflect this ongoing need, by allowing services to plan for the future and move away from the funding cliff edge many find themselves on year after year. There is still a huge gap for refuge funding – estimates say £173 million is needed but only £125 million has been committed so far.

Refuge would also have liked to have seen this budget include an increase in funds for community-based services for survivors of domestic abuse, such as Independent Domestic Violence Advocates (IDVAs) with estimates suggesting that £220 million is needed to ensure adequate provision of such services. Right now, across the country Refuge is supporting 7,000 women and children – 6,000 of whom are accessing our community services and around 1,700 of whom are living with their perpetrators. Not all women who come to Refuge for support are able, or ready, to leave their perpetrators, and we support them through community led services which provide life-changing and life-saving support to women who need it.’


Notes to Editors

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About Refuge:

Refuge supports more than 7,000 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.