Press Release

18 November 2020

Refuge response to funding boost for rape and domestic abuse services

In response to the government’s announcement of a funding boost for rape and domestic abuse support services, Lisa King, director of communications and external relations at Refuge said:

‘Refuge welcomes this new funding pot for rape and domestic abuse services. The Covid-19 crisis has amplified what we already know –  that funds are urgently needed to ensure vital frontline services are able to plan ahead. The pandemic has had a huge impact on survivors – from being kept waiting for Universal Credit payments, to experiencing difficulty in obtaining ‘move on’ accommodation, and the rise in demand for Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline. Of course this new funding is welcome, but it isn’t the long term solution so desperately needed.

Specialist domestic abuse services have already been decimated as a result of austerity cuts. Short term funding means we are unable to recruit staff and longer term planning to meet the needs of survivors  is impossible. Long term, sustainable funding which allows frontline services to plan, hire staff and move away from the funding cliff edges is what is needed –  this is the only way to ensure no woman or child is turned away from accessing the support they need.  Specialist services need stability, not uncertainty, and the way to resolve that is with long term funding, rather than short term fixes.

Refuge also welcomes the government’s commitment to raising awareness of domestic abuse via its #YouAreNotAlone campaign, but urges a focus on promoting Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline as a priority.  Refuge’s Helpline is a lifeline to abused women and gives 24 hour access to specialist support services across the country. Priority should be placed on promoting 0808 2000 247 and live chat support via Monday-Friday 3-10pm. Women’s lives depend on it.’


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

Refuge encourages all media outlets to signpost to Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline, for free and confidential support, 24 hours a day,  call 0808 2000 247 or visit to access live chat.