Leading domestic violence charity Refuge has called for David Ruffley to resign over his assault on his ex-girlfriend. Refuge’s chief executive Sandra Horley says she is “concerned that David Ruffley has so far been allowed to retain his position”, and demands the government “demonstrate to the public that men who abuse women will face consequences”.
“Earlier this year David Ruffley MP accepted a police caution for assaulting his former partner. He has now expressed his ‘deep regrets’ about the incident and has explained that he has apologised to her.
Let me be clear – assaulting your partner is domestic violence, and it is a crime. David Ruffley’s violent behaviour is all the more disappointing given that he has previously spoken out publicly against domestic violence. Writing on his own website, he has asserted that, “One incident of domestic violence is one too many”. Marking the White Ribbon Day campaign in 2005, he also wrote: “By wearing a white ribbon we are able to pledge never to commit, tolerate or ignore violence against women.”
Violent men must take responsibility for their actions. Apologies are all well and good, but at Refuge we know that perpetrators frequently use violence after apologising to their partners and making promises to change their behaviour.
I am concerned that David Ruffley has so far been allowed to retain his position. This Government has stated that addressing violence against women and girls is one of its top priorities. I sincerely hope it shows leadership on this issue by demonstrating to the public that men who abuse women will face consequences for their actions.”
Another loud, public call for Ruffley to go. The growing list of names demanding he step down will not have gone unnoticed by his association…