Response to media coverage of Grace Millane’s death

Refuge, the UK’s largest domestic violence charity, responds to media coverage of Grace Millane’s death.

In response to the ongoing press coverage concerning Grace Millane’s death, Sandra Horley CBE, Chief Executive of the national domestic abuse charity Refuge said:

‘Refuge is shocked and saddened by the recent coverage of the murder trial of Grace Millane. It is reckless and irresponsible to frame her death as anything other than the result of grievous violence, perpetrated by a sexual partner. Her sexual preferences are irrelevant and need to be removed from any discussion surrounding the circumstances of her death. Of course, Grace cannot challenge or rebut the assertions being made about her, as the man making them has taken her life.

“The narrative being pursued serves only to normalise violence against women and girls, instead of addressing and challenging it. What message is this sending young women – that sexual violence is their fault? That their sexual history will be used against them? That they might be told they were asking for it?

“Whilst this trial took place in New Zealand, we have seen several similar cases in England and Wales this year. The law clearly needs to change. Refuge is calling for the next Government to put an end to the ‘rough sex’ defence and ensure that no woman is ever blamed for her killer’s actions. Only then will the rest of society begin to see sexual violence and murder for what it is – an unacceptable crime for which there is no excuse.”

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