Press Release

28 October 2021

Refuge responds to Autumn budget

In response to today’s Autumn budget , Ruth Davison, Refuge CEO said:

‘This is a disappointing budget. Despite the governments very public commitments to addressing and responding to domestic abuse and wider Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG), the Autumn budget announced by the Chancellor today contains very little detail on the level of funding for vital, specialist service providers that support survivors of domestic abuse and other forms of VAWG.

While it is positive that funding to increase the number of Independent Sexual and Domestic Violence Advocates has been announced, Refuge is disappointed that there appear to be no commitment from the Treasury to provide the critical funding that specialist domestic abuse support services need, which is estimated to be over £400 million per year. Failing to provide this level of funding means that some women and girls will inevitably be unable to access the specialist services they need, when they need them.

Refuge is disappointed that the continued public commitment to prioritise VAWG has simply not translated into concrete funding commitments and priorities in this Budget, at a time when demand for specialist services has soared over the course of the pandemic and shows no sign of slowing down.

Only by listening to, and hearing, the funding needs of frontline organisations, often making desperate pleas for funding, and committing enough money to specialist services, can we truly believe that the government is serious about its commitment to making VAWG a priority. ‘


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 support with tech abuse visit

For more information contact