Press Release

16 December 2021

Refuge responds to Met Police DA arrests during 16 Days of Activism

Ruth Davison. Refuge CEO said:

‘During 16 days of activism the Metropolitan Police made more than 1500 domestic abuse related arrests. This shows the sheer number of women who are experiencing abuse and the need for the police to act swiftly and with rigour.. We also know that these arrest numbers only scratch the surface as the vast majority of women will never report to the police.

But while we are pleased that these victims of crime saw action being taken, what this shows is that, in line with what Refuge has long been calling for, Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) must be prioritised by the police all year round – not just during 16 days of activism and when the spotlight is on them to act. VAWG doesn’t just happen during the periods the Met takes it seriously; it happens every day and we need to see action taken against perpetrators and in support of survivors 365 days of the year. VAWG doesn’t come by appointment and neither should the response to it.

This is no more the case than for black and minoritised women and migrant women who face yet higher barriers to accessing justice and protection. If the Met are serious about protecting all victims of VAWG and bringing perpetrators to justice, then they should immediately stop sharing survivors’ data with immigration enforcement and commit to training on black and minoritised women’s experiences and how to effectively protect these women.

Women deserve more than a gimmick or to be given support by calendar invite – they must be protected every day, not just when the spotlight is on the police to do better.’


For more information or to arrange an interview contact the press office on email 

About Refuge:

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