The Duchess of Cornwall Hosts Reception to Mark 50 Years of Refuge



Tuesday 25th January 2022

The Duchess of Cornwall will host a reception at Clarence House to mark 50 years of Refuge and the movement to end domestic abuse.

At the reception, The Duchess of Cornwall will meet Refuge Ambassadors, Trustees and Survivors of domestic abuse, and learn how abuse has changed over Refuge’s 50-year history. 

The reception will conclude with addresses from Refuge’s Chair, Hetti Barkworth-Nanton, Erica Osakwe, survivor of domestic abuse who has campaigned alongside Refuge to change the law, and The Duchess. 

The Duchess will undertake a private visit to an emergency accommodation Refuge Centre earlier in the day, where she will meet residents as well as expert staff. This visit will provide Her Royal Highness with insight into emergency accommodation for women fleeing domestic abuse. 


Refuge supports thousands of 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. 

On their 50th anniversary, 24th November 2021, Refuge launched their new advertising campaign bringing into focus the rise of tech abuse. They released the following figures: 

  • Refuge has seen a 97% increase in number of referrals for complex tech abuse cases compared to the first three months of 2020 
  • In the last 50 years, Refuge’s job has gotten harder as the progression of technology has made abuse smarter and easier 
  • Refuge has created a compelling multi-platform campaign to raise awareness of insidious, growing tools of tech abuse 

Learn more about Refuge’s campaign here 

Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247 is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week for free, confidential specialist support. 

The Duchess and Domestic Abuse 

Her Royal Highness has long been an advocate for raising awareness of and preventing domestic abuse. Some examples of her work include: 

  • July 2016, The Duchess of Cornwall hosted a reception for survivors of domestic abuse, those working in the field, and charities aiming to raise awareness of the issue at Clarence House. 
  • In March 2020, The Duchess attended the Grand Opening Session: Domestic Abuse – Everyone’s Problem of the WOW Festival 2020, in her role as President. During her speech, The Duchess said: 

‘Today I was delighted to speak at the 10th annual Women of the World Festival to highlight the important work that charities including Safelives and Refuge do to help survivors of domestic violence.’ The full speech is available here 

  • In June 2020, The Duchess of Cornwall joined a WOW (Women of the World) 24-hour festival to discuss her longstanding work on domestic abuse and announce a new patronage with charity SafeLives. 
  • In March 2021 The Duchess met with Darren O’Brien at Victoria Station to discuss the Rail to Refuge scheme. The initiative, coordinated by Rail Delivery Group and Women’s Aid, helps people to escape domestic abuse and reach a safe refuge quickly and free of charge. 
  • In September 2021, The Duchess of Rothesay officially opened the new refuge centre at South Ayrshire Women’s Aid. 
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