Domestic violence – the facts

Domestic violence – the facts


  • 2 women are killed every week in England and Wales by                                                                    a current or former partner (Office of National Statistics, 2015) – 1 woman killed every 3 days
  • 1 in 4 women in England and Wales will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes and 8% will suffer domestic violence in any given year(Crime Survey of England and Wales, 2013/14)
  • Globally, 1 in 3 women will experience violence at the hands of a male partner (State of the World’s Fathers Report, MenCare, 2015)
  • Domestic violence has a higher rate of repeat victimisation than any other crime (Home Office, July 2002)
  • Every minute police in the UK receive a domestic assistance call – yet only 35% of domestic violence incidents are reported to the police (Stanko, 2000 & Home Office, 2002)
  • The 2001/02 British Crime Survey (BCS) found that there were an estimated 635,000 incidents of domestic violence in England and Wales. 81% of the victims were women and 19% were men. Domestic violence incidents also made up nearly 22% of all violent incidents reported by participants in the BCS (Home Office, July 2002)
  • On average, a woman is assaulted 35 times before her first call to the police (Jaffe, 1982)


  • 25% of children in the UK have been exposed to domestic abuse (Radford et al. NSPCC, 2011)
  • In 90% of domestic violence incidents in family households, children were in the same or the next room (Hughes, 1992)
  • 62% of children in households where domestic violence is happening are also directly harmed (SafeLives, 2015)/li>


  • 30% of domestic violence either starts or will intensify during pregnancy (Department of Health report, October 2004)
  • Foetal morbidity from violence is more prevalent than gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia (Friend, 1998)

Cost to society

  • In November 2009, Sylvia Walby of the University of Leeds estimated the total costs of domestic violence to be £15.7 billion a year.  This is broken down as follows:
  • The costs to services (Criminal Justice System, health, social services, housing, civil legal) amount to £3.8 billion per year
  • The loss to the economy – where women take time off work due to injuries – is £1.9 billion per year
  • Domestic violence also leads to pain and suffering that is not counted in the cost of services.  The human and emotional costs of domestic violence amount to almost £10 billion per year