SafeLives CEO Diana Barran to step down after 13 years

24th July 2017

After 13 years, Founder & Chief Executive of SafeLives, Diana Barran, is to step down.

Today, we announce that our founder, Diana Barran, will be stepping down from her position as CEO once her successor has been appointed. From working with a group of people around the kitchen table, Diana built SafeLives into a national charity of standing that has transformed and continues to transform the UK’s responses to domestic abuse for survivors and their children.

We begin the search for Diana’s successor in September, with the aim of announcing the new CEO by the end of the year. It is vital that the successor, on behalf of our beneficiaries, continues the values and ambition so inherent in Diana’s leadership of SafeLives.

Diana founded SafeLives in 2004 having previously worked in finance in the City, London. She began SafeLives around the question “What would you want for your best friend?” There was an urgent need to improve the response to survivors of domestic abuse and their families, particularly those at greatest risk of homicide or serious harm. With a focus on the combination of specialist, qualified support for survivors from an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor[1](Idva), and a co-ordinated response from other agencies via the Marac[2], Diana and SafeLives created a multi-agency approach that responded to risk, making people safe, sooner. The model supports over 60,000 survivors and their children annually. 

Diana said: “I am incredibly proud of what SafeLives has achieved since 2004 and although I will deeply miss leading the charity in future, I am clear that our organisation is in great shape and that this is a good time to transition to a new leader. We have never had a stronger team, better ideas and more creative partnerships across our sector and beyond”.

SafeLives is now part of important partnerships undertaking innovative work to challenge perpetrators, improve the response in the health sector, link safeguarding and domestic abuse, and resolve the gaps in provision for those people who face additional barriers to accessing support.

Diana said: “Our ambition and optimism for change are more pronounced than ever and it will be a terrific and important challenge for my successor to take on. As a Chief Executive you receive a lot of credit for the achievements of the organisation. In the case of SafeLives, our successes have been a team effort – from our staff, trustees, and most recently our magnificent Pioneers, a group of survivors who support and advise us. I am so grateful to everyone for their support over the years. It has been an honour to work with you all.”

Chair of SafeLives, Clare Maurice says: "It has been a wonderful experience to work alongside Diana, whom I have known for many years in a personal capacity as well as a professional one. She has built SafeLives from a small group of determined people to a national charity that has truly transformed the response to domestic abuse. Diana's dedication and work ethic has never faltered, and the strength of the team, the reach of their ambition and their really strong reputation has been achieved under her leadership.

“We will now be looking for someone who can build on Diana's remarkable success, while also bringing their own ideas and opportunities. Diana will remain in post until the right person has been found and is settled. It is an exciting time for SafeLives; we look forward to working with Diana's successor to bring about further positive change for the millions impacted by domestic abuse." 

SafeLives has grown in size and scope but one thing has remained consistent – our absolute commitment to improving the response to survivors of domestic abuse. Our vision to end domestic abuse is what drives us every day, and it is this relentless energy and belief that we owe to our founder and CEO, Diana. 

SafeLives is excited to welcome a new CEO and together deliver on our ambition to build a national movement for change, which will end domestic abuse, for good.  


To find out more...

If you'd like any more information about this, or any other press release, please contact:

Penny East, Head of Communications
020 7922 7891


[1] Idva – independent domestic violence advisor. The main purpose of independent domestic violence advisors (Idva) is to address the safety of victims at high risk of harm from intimate partners, ex-partners or family members to secure their safety and the safety of their children.


[2] Marac - a meeting where information is shared on the highest risk domestic abuse cases between representatives of local police, health, child protection, housing practitioners, Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (Idvas), probation and other specialists from  statutory and voluntary sectors.