Press Release

4 March 2021

Refuge teams up with British GQ

Refuge teams up with British GQ to urge men to #ChooseToChallenge domestic abuse in support of International Women’s Day 8 March 2021.

Refuge, the country’s largest provider of specialist domestic abuse services has teamed up with leading men’s magazine British GQ to help drive awareness of domestic abuse to its predominantly male readership. With a print, digital and social audience reach of 10.4 million a month, GQ is in a unique position to speak to men across the country about domestic abuse, a gendered crime.

Domestic abuse is a crime most often perpetrated by men, against women. It stems from gender inequality and is rooted in power and control. Central to addressing domestic abuse is ensuring an understanding of its gendered nature, challenging male attitudes to abuse and educating men about the very real suffering of women across the world at the hands of male violence – as well as encouraging men to #ChooseToChallenge attitudes towards women which can perpetuate gender inequality.

By offering GQ’s significant platforms to this issue ahead of International Women’s Day (including a 10-page feature in the magazine, on the shelves today) GQ is shining a mighty light on domestic abuse and bringing its huge weight to the table in pushing for attitudinal change. This feature complements perfectly the global theme for International Women’s Day 2021, which is ‘commit to challenge’.

George Chesterton, British GQ political editor, and author of the magazine feature said:

‘I didn’t write this article on behalf of women, but to men. GQ has changed a lot over the years, and although we have a substantial female readership, we remain a magazine aimed predominantly at men. This gives me an opportunity to write something in-depth about issues that are among the most urgent yet underreported and misunderstood in our society.

The more I learned, the greater the responsibility I felt to tell the stories of the women who had experienced domestic abuse, to amplify their voices and to speak to people who had made it their life’s work to fight it.

Above all, my aim was to make men think about and better understand these issues. I also wanted them to think about the part they can play – in relationships, families, peer groups and society as a whole – in the effort to stop violence against women and girls, and to ask them to #ChooseToChallenge themselves about attitudes and behaviour that are prevalent across all walks of life.

I sincerely hope I did the survivors justice, as it was a privilege and an inspiration to speak to them and I’d like to thank Refuge for their invaluable support and cooperation in making this feature possible.’

Lisa King, director of communications at Refuge said:

‘Refuge is immensely grateful to George and all at British GQ for making this feature possible. One of the challenges we face as campaigners and advocates against domestic abuse is ensuring people understand what it is, who is doing what to whom, and the impact it is has on women and children.

When Refuge first opened its doors in 1971, domestic abuse was seen as something that happened behind closed doors, and something which society should not intervene in. Since then, laws and policies have changed and with it the understanding of domestic abuse is evolving -indeed, the Domestic Abuse Bill, a new and important piece of legislation, will start its report stage in the House of Lords on International Women’s Day.

British GQ’s platform gives us the opportunity to speak to men right across the country, and ask them to #ChooseToChallenge domestic abuse, in their peer groups, their workplace, their family, their community, and wherever they might see it. Men have a vital role to play in ending violence against women and we are hopeful that, together, we can ensure women can live free from fear and abuse.’

British GQ is on the shelves today, 04th March, and its owned and operated channels will be carrying content to support International Women’s Day on Monday 08th March. 



Notes to Editors

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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 real time automated guidance on how to secure your personal devices Refuge also has a Tech Safety Tool.