Suzanne Jacob, CEO, to step down from her role at SafeLives in Spring 2024

SafeLives is welcoming back our CEO, Suzanne Jacob OBE, from parental leave. Suzanne will take the charity into the first stages of planning for a strategy refresh in 2025. Suzanne has announced her intention to step down as CEO in the spring of 2024 to allow a new leader to take forward SafeLives’ mission to end domestic abuse into the next decade.

Suzanne joined SafeLives in 2015, was promoted to Deputy CEO later that year, and was then appointed through open competition as Chief Executive in 2017, taking up the role from Diana Barran (now Baroness Barran MBE), who founded SafeLives.

SafeLives has grown significantly since 2017 under Suzanne’s leadership, almost doubling in size and income, but more importantly, working in partnership with a huge range of organisations, increasing our reach to deliver profound impact on the way we think about domestic abuse.  

The Board is hugely grateful to Ellen Miller, who has done a wonderful job as interim CEO since January 2023, bringing an excellent strategic perspective, developing a focused operating plan and budget for 23/24, and leading our work around culture change, appointing our new Head of People and Culture. Ellen will step down to take up another role in the sector as Interim Chief Executive at Refuge and we wish her every success in the future.

Isabel Boyer, Chair of SafeLives

Suzanne returns to lead SafeLives into its next phase of life and we will begin an extensive recruitment process to appoint her successor, who we expect will take up post in spring 2024.

Suzanne has been an inspiration to so many and has led SafeLives with intelligence, conviction and a relentless passion for ending domestic abuse. Under her leadership, SafeLives has continued to champion the need to improve the response for the whole family, bringing together data, frontline practice expertise and survivor voice to increase understanding, address risk and ensure better joined up working to deliver systemic change. She’s also highlighted the vital need to stop domestic abuse before it starts, looking at prevention and early intervention, as well as challenging perpetrators and bringing men and boys into a whole society conversation about how to change attitudes and behaviours. Events in the news for the last few weeks continue to show us why all of this work is so vital.

Working with survivors of domestic abuse has been the privilege of my life. No one I’ve ever met has more courage, dignity and determination. SafeLives is always generating fresh thinking and a practical way forward that gives people hope. I can’t wait to see all it will achieve in the future.

Suzanne Jacob