The Duchess of Cornwall to Host 15th Anniversary Reception for Charity SafeLives

The Duchess of Cornwall talks to Patsy Ferran, winner of the best actress award, after attending the Olivier Awards at the Royal Albert Hall in London.


Wednesday 12th February 2020

The Duchess of Cornwall will host a reception at Clarence House to acknowledge the 15th anniversary of domestic abuse charity SafeLives.

Her Royal Highness has invited representatives from SafeLives to Clarence House to celebrate 15 years of the charity’s work. During the reception, which coincides with the charity’s Valentine’s Campaign, The Duchess will meet charity CEO Suzanne Jacob and recently appointed Domestic Abuse Commissioner, Nicole Jacobs, as well as survivors including Rachel Williams, frontline staff and professionals that work in partnership with SafeLives.


SafeLives is a UK-wide charity dedicated to ending domestic abuse, for everyone and for good. They work with organisations across the UK to transform the response to domestic abuse. They listen to survivors, putting their voices at the heart of their thinking. They look at the whole picture for each individual and family to get the right help at the right time to make families everywhere safe and well. And they challenge perpetrators to change, asking ‘why doesn’t he stop?’ rather than ‘why doesn’t she leave?’ This applies whatever the gender of the victim or perpetrator and whatever the nature of their relationship.

Last year alone, nearly 11,000 professionals working on the frontline received training through SafeLives. Over 65,000 adults at risk of serious harm or murder and more than 85,000 children received support through dedicated multi-agency support designed by SafeLives and delivered with partners. In the last three years, over 1,000 perpetrators have been challenged and supported to change by interventions the charity has created with partners, and for the charity that’s just the start.

15 years of SafeLives

In 2020 SafeLives is marking its 15th anniversary. Founded by Baroness Diana Barran MBE, in 2005, SafeLives quickly established the ‘best friend’ rule: if your best friend was experiencing domestic abuse, what would you want for them? 15 years later and now led by CEO, Suzanne Jacob OBE, the relationships SafeLives has built with organisations, frontline professionals and survivors of domestic abuse has helped tens of thousands of victims, survivors and whole families receive the support they need to become safe sooner and live the lives they want after abuse. Key achievements to date:

  • SafeLives established the idea of the specialist Idva (independent domestic violence adviser), training more than 3,000 Idvas and Idaas (Scotland) to support those at the highest risk of serious harm or murder. After support from an Idva, 84% of victims felt safer.
  • SafeLives piloted and embedded the idea of the Marac, the multi-agency risk assessment conference which brings together police, children’s services, health and other agencies to share information and develop safety plans for people at the highest risk of serious harm or murder – approximately 290 now operate across the UK, supporting 100,000 cases last year alone.
  • SafeLives has trained over 27,500 police officers and staff in 20 forces across the UK to understand the dynamics of domestic abuse, driving real change in the police response.
  • In the last three years, SafeLives has challenged nearly 1,500 perpetrators to change their behaviour through Drive, a partnership programme with Respect and Social Finance, and together with over 70 organisations and individuals called for a national perpetrator strategy to tackle domestic abuse at the root.
  • SafeLives has heard from the voices of more than 400 victims and survivors who helped shape the charity’s response to the Domestic Abuse Bill and from over 1,000 men and boys who took part in a survey of attitudes to relationships and abuse.

Valentine’s Campaign: #ImASurvivor

The anniversary celebration also marks the launch of SafeLives’ #ImASurvivor Valentine’s campaign, which celebrates the collective strength and resilience of the survivor voice. The campaign builds on their #ImASurvivor video, which brought together survivors around the country to start a movement; challenging preconceptions about what a ‘victim’ or a ‘survivor’ is. Campaign video link:

The Duchess of Cornwall

The Duchess of Cornwall has highlighted the work of domestic abuse charities in the UK and overseas for over a decade. Most recently in November 2019, during Their Royal Highness’s tour of New Zealand, The Duchess joined a discussion on domestic violence in Auckland with local charities, survivors and national campaigners. She later met with a not for profit organisation in Christchurch, dedicated to supporting families to live violence free.

Her Royal Highness first learnt about the work of SafeLives during a visit to the charity at the beginning of 2016. The Duchess heard survivors’ traumatic stories and she was left with a desire to do what she could to help. As a result, in July 2016 a reception at Clarence House took place on this subject with representatives from SafeLives in attendance. In November 2017, Her Royal Highness was hosted by SafeLives at the Royal Stoke University Hospital, highlighting the work that the charity undertakes in conjunction with hospitals.

In April 2018, during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London, The Duchess attended the Women’s Forum where attendees, including Suzanne Jacob, CEO of SafeLives, discussed how employers can respond better in helping those suffering abuse. Domestic abuse survivor and SafeLives pioneer Rachel Williams was also present at the meeting. Her Royal Highness spoke about her experiences meeting survivors during her speech at the forum. The Duchess wrote a letter of support in August 2019 for the Stand Up to Domestic Abuse Conference, organised by Rachel Williams.

Catch up on The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall’s most recent engagements, in the latest issue of Royal Life magazine.

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