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13 March 2023

Refuge statement on Fiona Bruce ambassador role

On Friday we issued a statement in response to the comments read out by Fiona Bruce the previous evening in her role as host of BBC Question Time.

Refuge’s position was, and remains, clear – domestic abuse is never a ‘one off’, it is a pattern of behaviour that can manifest in a number of ways, including but not limited to physical abuse. Domestic abuse is never acceptable.

Over the weekend we have been listening to, and heard, survivors of domestic abuse who have told us how devastating this has been for them. While we know the words were not Fiona’s own and were words she was legally obliged to read out, this does not lessen their impact and we cannot lose sight of that.


These words minimised the seriousness of domestic abuse and this has been retraumatising for survivors.


Survivors of domestic abuse are, and will always be, Refuge’s priority. Our focus must remain on them. Every two minutes someone turns to Refuge for help and our priority is the women and their children who need us.


We have today accepted Fiona’s offer to stand down from her role as Ambassador for Refuge.  We have thanked her for her considerable contribution over many years to Refuge and the wider domestic abuse agenda.