Press Release

22 October 2021

Refuge responds to announcement that government intend to extend time survivors can report common assault

Responding to the news that the government intends to extend the time survivors of domestic abuse have to report common assault, Ruth Davison, Refuge CEO said:

‘Refuge is delighted to learn that the government intends to adopt the amendment from Baroness Newlove and give survivors of domestic abuse who experience common assault a longer time frame to report the crimes committed against them. We look forward to hearing the detail of their proposal very soon.

As Refuge we work with women every day who know just how hard it can be to report domestic abuse – they might not yet have fled their perpetrator, they may fear repercussions, or they might not yet have processed the assault they experienced. Couple that with trust in police being at an all-time low, means the conditions for survivors to come forward is incredibly challenging.

Refuge has campaigned along with Centre For Women’s Justice, Women’s Aid Federation of England, and survivor Erica Osakwe for this change. We are delighted to hear that the government intends to support this call and extend thanks to Yvette Cooper MP and Baroness Newlove for driving this work through Parliament and to the Home Secretary Priti Patel for listening to, and hearing, our calls for change. This amendment, when it comes into practice, will make an enormous difference to survivors of domestic abuse and will help offer much greater protection to women and girls.’



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