New study shows that Refuge creates £33m in social value

As domestic violence services around the country are threatened, a new study shows that national domestic violence charity Refuge creates £33 million in social value


Refuge. For women and children. Against domestic violence.Today, during the 16 Days of Action to End Violence Against Women, national domestic violence charity Refuge releases findings from a Social Return on Investment (SROI) study undertaken by the New Economics Foundation (NEF).

As a new survey shows that domestic violence services are under threat, Refuge announces the impact of its life-saving life-changing services on society in one year was valued at £33 million.

The finding comes as local authorities continue to cut spending on specialist domestic violence services, reducing and closing vital services for victims of domestic violence.

Refuge. For women and children. Against domestic violence.

Refuge, the country’s largest provider of specialist domestic violence services, has experienced funding reductions in 80% of its local authority contracts since 2011 – representing a total loss of over £800,000.

The NEF study estimates that every £1 invested in these services generates a social return of £3.54.  The study therefore shows that there is not only a moral case for funding specialist services to help women and children rebuild their lives following domestic violence, but also a strong economic case for funding Refuge’s specialist work.

Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of Refuge, says:

“Refuge has been providing life-saving and life-changing support to women and children experiencing domestic violence for over 40 years.  Every day we support 3,000 women and children to escape violence and rebuild their lives.  Refuge and NEF’s study provides strong evidence to support what we already know: that Refuge’s specialist services create huge impact not only on individuals but also on society as a whole – an impact to the value of £33 million.

“In this current climate of austerity, funders must make smart decisions about where to spend their diminishing resources.  This study shows that investing in Refuge’s specialist services for women and children will deliver a strong social return, helping to save and change lives.  This is, after all, the true core of Refuge’s work.  Domestic violence is a massive social problem – a problem that kills two women every week and affects 1.2 million women and 750,000 children every year.  Refuge exists to ensure that women and children can live in safety, free from violence and fear – but if the cuts continue we will not be able to sustain our essential work into the future.”

Ben Estep from New Economics Foundation says:

“Our SROI study found that Refuge’s services for women and children experiencing domestic violence create enormous social value.  Throughout our work with Refuge, we were particularly impressed with their ability to track the progress of the women and children who use their services, through a bespoke electronic system called REMIT.  This system provides a rich evidence base of the outcomes that Refuge achieves for each and every woman and child they support.  Our SROI analysis was based on this data.  It showed that Refuge’s services created a total of £33million in social value in one year – proving that investment in Refuge’s work creates huge change for both individuals and society as a whole.”

Click here to download the report: ‘Social valuation of Refuge services for survivors of domestic violence’