Violence against women and girls – Domestic Abuse


How common is domestic abuse?

We know from our work, and the work of the Women’s Aid federation of services, that domestic abuse is very common, however this is often difficult to accurately quantify. Domestic abuse is a largely hidden crime, occurring primarily at home. Women often don’t report or disclose domestic abuse to the police (HMIC, 2014) and may underreport domestic abuse in surveys, particularly during face-to-face interviews (ONS, 2015). In addition, prevalence estimates do not take into account important context and impact information, for example whether the violence caused fear, who experienced multiple incidents and who experienced coercive controlling behaviour. When these factors are taken into account the gendered nature of domestic abuse becomes clearer.

Key statistics

  • There are no reliable prevalence data on domestic abuse but the Crime Survey of England and Wales (CSEW) offers the best data available. According to these data, an estimated 1.2 million women experienced domestic abuse in the year ending March 2017 (ONS, 2017), and an estimated 4.3 million women aged 16-59 have experienced domestic abuse since the age of 16 (ONS, 2018). When these figures are presented along the current prevalence estimates for male victims, however, the gendered nature of domestic abuse is obscured. This is because these data do not take into account important context and impact information, such as whether the violence caused fear, who the repeat victims were and who experienced violence in a context of power and control. When these factors are taken into account the gendered nature of domestic abuse becomes much more apparent. See ‘Domestic abuse is a gendered crime’.
  • On average two women are killed by their partner or ex-partner every week in England and Wales.*  (ONS, 2018)
  • On average the police in England and Wales receive over 100 calls relating to domestic abuse every hour. (HMIC, 2015)
  • The domestic abuse had been reported to the police for just over one quarter of the women using community-based services in the Week to Count 2017 and just over two fifths of women resident in refuge services on the Day to Count 2017. One eighth of the community-based service users and one sixth of the women resident in refuge services saw criminal sanctions or a criminal case against the perpetrator(s) of the abuse. (Women’s Aid, 2018)

Between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 2017, a total of 241 women were killed by their partner/ex-partner In England and Wales (ONS, 2018). This gives us an average of 1.54 women per week (241/[52 weeks*3]) – rounded up to two women per week.

Further information and support

If would like more information about domestic abuse go to:  The Survivor’s Handbook

Call the National Domestic Violence Helpline (run in partnership with Refuge)


References

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC). (2014) Everyone’s business: Improving the police response to domestic abusePublished online: HMIC, p. 31

Office for National Statistics (ONS). (2015). Crime Statistics, Focus on Violent Crime and Sexual Offences, 2013/14. Chapter 4: Intimate personal violence and partner abuse. Published online: ONS, p. 3

Office for National Statistics (ONS). (2017) Domestic abuse in England and Wales: year ending March 2017. Published online: ONS

Office for National Statistics (ONS). (2018) Domestic abuse: findings from the Crime Survey for England and Wales: year ending March 2017. Published online: ONS

Office for National Statistics (ONS). (2018) Homicide in England and Wales: year ending March 2017Published online: ONS

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC). (2015) Increasingly everyone’s business: A progress report on the police response to domestic abuse. Published online: HMIC, p. 28

Women’s Aid. (2018) Survival and Beyond: The Domestic Abuse Report 2017. Bristol: Women’s Aid          https://www.womensaid.org.uk

Commission on the Status of Women

The Commission is dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women. It is the principal global policy-making body. Every year, representatives of Member States gather at the United Nations’ Headquarters in New York to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and advancement of women worldwide.

The Commission was established by ECOSOC (to which SIGBI has Special Consultative Status) in 1946 with the aim to prepare recommendations and reports to the Council on promoting women’s rights in political, economic, civil, social and educational fields. The Commission also makes recommendations to the Council on urgent problems requiring immediate attention in the field of women’s rights.

Crown Prosecution Service

“The CPS developed a Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) strategy, not only as a result of the importance the Service places on improving prosecutions of these crimes and supporting victims, but also in recognition of the United Nations, Council of Europe and End Violence Against Women Campaign initiatives and as part of the cross-government VAWG strategy.”

Equality and Human Rights Commission

The Equality and Human Rights Commission champions equality and human rights for all, working to eliminate discrimination, reduce inequality, protect human rights and to build good relations, ensuring that everyone has a fair chance to participate in society.

The Everyman Project

The Everyman Project seeks to help men to change their violent or abusive behaviour with respect and dignity for every man, every woman and every child. It is a voluntary, charitable organisation based in London which offers a range of support services for men who want to stop behaving violently or abusively, and for the people affected by their violence or abuse. These include a focused brief counselling programme, a partner support programme, and a telephone help-line. Everyman Project relies on volunteers to support the organisation, provide the one-to-one counselling, and staff the telephone advice-line. All volunteers engaging with face-to-face clients receive clinical supervision on a regular basis.