We Believe 

Domestic violence and abuse is a deeply gendered issue. The fact is that most domestic and sexual violence is committed by men, even though most men are not violent. Women and children are overwhelmingly the majority of victims of domestic violence and abuse. This is what we most commonly work with every day at Stop Abuse for Everyone (SAFE). 

Men are also victims of violence and abuse in intimate and family relationships. Domestic violence and abuse also happens in same sex relationships, across all socio-economic groups and cultures. Violence and abuse is never OK.

We know that the experience of domestic violence and abuse for women and men is different.Women often have fewer resources at their disposal to avoid or escape violence. They are more likely to fear for their lives, to be sexually assaulted, to experience frequent prolonged and extreme violence, to experience a range of controlling and coercive tactics and are more at risk of murder after separation.

Domestic violence and abuse is both a cause and a consequence of women’s inequality and is reinforced by social and cultural norms about the roles of men and women and the family. 

At SAFE we recognise that gender is important to understanding and responding to keep families safe and reducing the harm caused by violence. 

We also know that other forms of inequality and disadvantage interact leaving some groups of people and their families more vulnerable to and entrapped by domestic violence and abuse, such as women with learning difficulties, women from different cultural backgrounds and women from poorer communities. 

Our Values

Equality, Respect, Diversity, Empowerment and Partnership

Our purpose

Working together to end domestic violence and abuse by

  • Providing services for victims to be safe, recover from harm and regain control over their lives, choices and wellbeing
  • Raising awareness and working to prevent domestic violence for future generations 

Working Together

Responding effectively to domestic violence and abuse requires partnerships between public and private agencies, voluntary organisations, victims and their families. 

We believe that we all have a role and responsibility to protect and support victims and to hold those who choose to use violence to account. Domestic violence and abuse is preventable if we work together. To find out more about our partnerships and how you and your organisation or group can work with us see our page on our partnerships.

Our Feminist Roots 

As Exeter Women’s Aid, SAFE established the Exeter Refuge to provide women and their children fleeing domestic violence with safe accommodation and support. Like other women’s refuges, women’s health centres and rape crisis services, SAFE was originally established by women for women and was invariably linked to the politics of the women’s liberation movement. Feminist services sought change for women individually and collectively, propelling the issues and concerns into the public sphere and seeking political and social action to achieve safety and equality. 

Our feminist roots have shaped our understanding and approach to domestic violence. Feminism identifies the fundamental differences in power – or inequalities- that exist on the basis of gender and the impact this has on women individually and collectively. It assists us to recognise power differences within other oppressed groups and how some groups are impacted by multiple forms of oppression and disadvantage based on gender, race and so forth. 

Today feminism also guides our work with boys and young men. We support boys to be themselves and to challenge norms of masculinity that are based on dominance, violence, restrictive emotions and notions that girls and women are inferior. We believe we all have a role in promoting the positive, healthy and respectful development of boys and young men. 

At SAFE we believe that gender equality is good for everyone. 

Here is a great talk by Michael Kimmel on You Tube good on why equality is good for everyone http://www.ted.com/talks?sort=newest&q=michael+kimmel