In September 2016, Her Royal Highness continued with this work by visiting Refuge, the largest specialist provider in the country of life-saving services for women and children experiencing domestic violence and other forms of gender violence. The Duchess met more survivors and volunteers and listened to their stories. Then, in February, The Duchess visited Women’s Aid, a grassroots federation that provides lifesaving services and, with Refuge, manages the national domestic violence 24-hour helpline.
This year, Her Royal Highness marked another important milestone in this area. The Care Bag project which had begun as a pilot scheme in 2011 was finally rolled out nationally. The scheme provides a wash bag of toiletries for victims of rape and sexual abuse to use following their physical examinations which can often be very difficult experiences. The pilot scheme began at the three London Havens, which are SARCs (Sexual Assault Referral Centres), and following its success the pharmaceutical company Boots, based in Nottingham, agreed to donate up to 13,000 care bags annually and to distribute them to all 49 SARCs throughout the United Kingdom.