Accessibility statement

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Refuge is committed to improving accessibility on so that as many people as possible can access the critical information it holds, including on how they can receive support from our expert Helpline Advisers.

Measures to support accessibility

We have created this site taking into account the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1, which are a set of recommendations and standards set by the World Wide Web Consortium (2018) on making web content more accessible. This means:

  • Users can access our content using common screen reader software NDVA (NonVisual Desktop Access) and VoiceOver.
  • Users can understand page content through logical and sequential page headings.
  • Users can understand hyperlink purpose easily through descriptive text.
  • Users can navigate this website using a keyboard.
  • Users can watch any video on the site with captions.
  • Users can use video transcripts as an alternative to understand video content.
  • Browsers can interpret and display content correctly based on common development standard.

In addition:

  • Users can find a range of ways to receive expert support from Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline: telephone support; a text-based Live Chat service; the option to submit a secure webform; and a British Sign Language (BSL) service, through which women can communicate with our Helpline Advisers via qualified interpreters on a video call. See more here.
  • Refuge has created a language selector so that women can access our content in Polish, Bengali and Spanish. These translated sites have the same accessibility features as the English version.


Increasing accessibility on this website and across Refuge’s services is an ongoing process. Refuge is committed to continuing this journey ongoing, working with experts and informed by the needs of women. We know there are still accessibility problems on this site. These include:

  • Some features to enable WCAG 2.1 AA compliance, which are outstanding – for example, standalone text re-sizing and re-sizing of content up to 200% zoom, colour contrast on some page controls such as input boxes and text spacing adjustments to help dyslexic users.
  • Other common screen readers such as TalkBack and JAWS may not work optimally as the website has been tested using NVDA and VoiceOver and conformance can only be guaranteed by using these specific assistive technologies.
  • Not all website content is available in BSL.
  • We link to some external websites, which may not be accessible
  • Third party platforms embedded into this website may not be fully accessible. This includes our Live Chat platform and Tech Chat Bot.

We are working to secure funds to continue to increase our web accessibility.

Refuge’s approach to accessibility

When developing, Refuge worked with digital accessibility experts at Wunderman Thompson and Hassell Inclusion, auditing changes needed and testing as we went.

Refuge knows that accessibility cannot end with digital platforms; we have also worked to identify gaps in provision on Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline and begin to fill them, working in close partnership with women and external experts – which is why we launched the British Sign Language interpretation strand, to enable users to receive direct support from our Helpline Advisers in their first language.

What to do if you have difficulties accessing our web content

We want to continue to improve and care about your feedback. If you find anything on the site difficult to use, please let us know by contacting We recommend you look at ‘Contacting Organisations about Inaccessible Websites‘. This can support you to accurately describe the issues you are having, enabling us to quickly understand your feedback.

All constructive feedback regarding the accessibility or usability of this website is welcome and will be carefully considered.

This statement was last reviewed on 18th May 2021.