Press Release

29 September 2021

Refuge responds to Wayne Couzens hearing

Ruth Davison, Refuge CEO said:

‘The news today that Wayne Couzens handcuffed Sarah Everard, pretending to arrest her for a breach of Covid guidelines, before raping and killing her is horrifying.

This man, who was tasked with protecting all of us from harm, who Sarah should have been able to trust, used his power to rape and kill a woman who was just walking home.

I stand alongside Sarah’s family, alongside the family of Sabina Nessa, and alongside the families of every woman who has lost her life to male violence. I cannot imagine the pain they are feeling.

Women’s lives matter. The work to end the abuse of power by men over women and to tackle misogyny must continue at pace. Women’s lives depend on it and the memories of every woman who has lost their lives to male violence deserve a robust criminal justice response and urgent steps to be taken to ensure that we create a society where this kind of abuse is not tolerated and never happens again’.

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