Blog | Press Release

22 December 2020

Year End Statement from Hetti Barkworth-Nanton

This year has been my first as Chair of Refuge and what a profound year it has been! We know that lockdown has significantly increased the instances of domestic abuse and it has been even more important that women and children have confidence that help is available when they need it.

Our work is not possible without the continued efforts of our partner organisations – all other domestic abuse specialist services, the police, social services, GPs, hospitals, the Home Office and local government, and the general public. Without teamwork we could not identify, protect and support those suffering abuse, and for that reason I would like to express thanks to you all.

It’s been a year where we’ve also seen the progress of important national legislation on domestic abuse and I am proud Refuge’s voice has been heard alongside many others, with survivor lead experiences guiding our law makers. There is much more work to do, but I am pleased that this crucial issue is now part of the national conversation.

Last but by no means least I want to pay tribute to each and every member of staff and volunteer at Refuge, all of whom have stepped up in these terrible and challenging times.
I would like to send many thanks to our Refuge patrons and ambassadors, donors, corporate partners, and of course the wonderful Trustees I work alongside – without whom so much of our work would not be possible. It has been wonderful to see your commitment to our work.

I am confident that better times are ahead for us, as the vaccine offers hope of a return to normal life soon. But I am determined to make sure that we learn lessons from how we worked during lockdown and we ensure, together, that we are able to help even more people into a better life in 2021.