About Refuge

Since 1971, Refuge has been at the forefront of addressing violence against women and girls, and we are now the largest specialist provider of domestic abuse services in England. Refuge is committed to a world where domestic abuse is not tolerated, and where women and children can live in safety.


Our specialist services include refuges, independent advocacy, community outreach projects, culturally specific services and the 24 hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline. We undertake award-winning campaigns which raise awareness of domestic abuse and prevent it from happening. As advocates for those whose voices are rarely heard, we ensure the needs of those experiencing abuse are represented at the highest possible level. Moreover, we produce and co-produce research – into the effects of domestic abuse, the issues surrounding service provision, and how society responds to domestic abuse – which in turn informs all our work.

Listening to the needs and experiences of survivors is at the heart of what we do. The more we have listened, the more we have understood that people experience abuse from their partners and ex-partners in many different ways, including modern slavery and human trafficking, forced prostitution, so-called ‘honour’-based violence, forced marriage, rape and sexual assault, and female genital mutilation. In recent years we have developed approaches which address new forms of technological, controlling and economic abuse.

Our 330 frontline staff and 90 volunteers work tirelessly to provide tailored expert support to survivors across our refuges, independent advocacy, community outreach and culturally specific services. On any given day these services support over 6,500 survivors, and many more reach out to us for support online: this year over 1.4 million visits were made to our website.