Press Release

6 February 2020

Refuge responds to Government announcement of consultation on pre-charge bail

In response to the Home Office announcement that the Government is launching a public consultation on pre-charge bail, Sandra Horley CBE, Chief Executive of national domestic abuse charity Refuge said:

‘Refuge welcomes this important consultation announced today, and shares the Government’s desire for change in the way those accused of domestic abuse are processed by the criminal justice system.

Over recent years we have seen a 65% drop in the number of perpetrators reported to the police for domestic abuse being released on bail. What this means in practice is that women who take the difficult and often traumatic decision to report their abusive partners to police may see them released, with no conditions, able to contact them and in many cases continue the tirade of abuse.

Refuge will respond to the consultation and call for a presumption of bail for suspects of domestic abuse and other forms of violence against women and girls. Women reporting their abusive partners must feel confident that when they approach the police that basic measures will be put in place to protect them and that safeguards will be immediately enacted.

As the largest service provider supporting the greatest number of women and children on any given day, Refuge will ensure that this consultation is shared widely among survivors and that their voices are listened to and heard.

Refuge hopes that the consultation will be completed and the recommendations implemented with minimal delay. We look forward to working with the Government to ensure survivors of domestic abuse receive the protection they desperately need. ‘

Spokespeople available on request. Please contact the press office on call 0207 395 7731.