Press Release

12 June 2020

Refuge responds to The Sun front page

Responding to the front page of The Sun on Friday 12th June, Jane Keeper, director of operations at Refuge, said:

“The front page of The Sun this morning is as irresponsible as it is disappointing.

It would ordinarily be troubling for such an editorial decision to be made – but to run with this during lockdown, when demand to Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline have increased by 66% is shocking. What this has done is give national media coverage to a perpetrator of domestic abuse to attempt to justify his actions.

It is never acceptable to hit a woman. The first ‘slap’ can lead to a pattern of violence – and domestic abuse is against the law. Domestic abuse can and does result in domestic homicide – 2 women a week in England and Wales are killed by a current or former partner. This is not an issue to be taken lightly.

In England and Wales one in four women will experience domestic abuse at some point in their life. What sort of message does this front page send to survivors? That their abuser will be given national media headlines to justify their actions? That their abuse is legitimate? That it doesn’t matter? That they are ‘fair game’?

To every survivor of domestic abuse who reads these headlines today – Refuge hears you, we see you, and we believe you. We are here to support you.

To every media outlet who carries this story today – we urge you to signpost to Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0808 2000 247 /”


For more information please contact the press office on 0207 395 7731 or email