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    Domestic Abuse Statistics UK

    Domestic Abuse Statistics UK 1

    Definition of DA

    Domestic Abuse consists of any of the following:

    • Physical abuse
    • Sexual abuse
    • Violent or threatening behaviour
    • Controlling or coercive behaviour
    • Economic abuse
    • Psychological, emotional or other abuse

    Where the victim and perpetrator(s) are aged 16 or over and are “personally connected” to each other. It does not matter whether the behaviour consists of a single incident or a course of conduct.

    (Domestic Abuse Act 2021)

    1 in 5

    1 in 5 adults experience Domestic Abuse during their lifetime. This equates to: 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6-7 men.

    2.4 million

    Last year 2.4 million adults were victims (1.7 million women and 699,000 men)

    1.5 million

    The police recorded 1,500,369 domestic abuse-related incidents and crimes in England and Wales in the year ending March 2022. The number of domestic abuse-related crimes increased 7.7% compared to the previous year.


    Women are more likely to experience repeat victimisation, be physically injured or killed and experience sexual violence.


    For every three victims, two are female and one is male


    93% of people referred to our service seeking civil protection orders last year were women.

    Every 30 seconds

    A domestic abuse related call is made to the police every 30 seconds.

    Domestic Abuse

    Domestic abuse is a largely hidden crime which goes unreported to the police.


    It is estimated that less than 24% of domestic abuse crime is reported to the police.


    Serious Assault & Deaths


    • 83 men were killed in domestic homicides between April 2016 and March 2019 which equates to over 2 each month.

      (DA Act 2021: Statutory Guidance)

    • The risk of serious assault and death is highest for a woman after she leaves an abusive relationship. According to the Femicide Census, 38% of women killed by their ex-partner from 2009 to 2018 were killed within the first month of separation and 89% in the first year.

      (Femicide Census, 2020)

    • Women are more likely to be victims of high risk or severe domestic abuse: 95% of those going to MARAC or accessing an IDVA service are women. But men are also at risk of serious assault and death from their female or male partners.

      (SafeLives (2015), Insights Idva National Dataset 2013-14. Bristol: SafeLives)

    Abuse by family members
    • In a study of 32 Domestic Homicide Reviews a quarter were family-related homicide, with most of those cases involving a parent killed by their adult child.

      (Home Office, 2022)

    Pregnancy, Children & Young People
    • DA often begins or escalates during pregnancy. 1 in 3 pregnant women experience DA.

      (NHS, 2023)

    • 62% of children living with domestic abuse are directly harmed by the perpetrator of the abuse, in addition to the harm caused by witnessing the abuse of others.

      (Caada (2014), In Plain Sight: Effective help for children exposed to domestic abuse)

    • 20% or 1 in 5 children have lived with an adult perpetrating domestic abuse.

      (NSPCC: Child abuse and neglect in the UK today, 2019)

    • Women aged 16 -19 are more likely to be victims than women aged 25 years and over.
    • Similarly, men aged 16 – 19 were most likely to experience DA than at any other age.

      (ONS, 2020)

    • 1 in 5 teenage girls have experienced domestic abuse in their dating relationship.

            (SafeLives, 2017. Safe Young Lives – Young People & Domestic Abuse)

    Economic Cost of DA:
    • The social and economic costs of DA are estimated at £66 billion in England and Wales in the year 2016-17. £14 billion of this is the cost to the economy arising from lost output due to time off work.

      (Home Office, 2019. The Economic and Social Costs of Domestic Abuse

    Impact of DA

    Stats taken from (Walby, S. (2004), The cost of domestic violence. Women and Equality Unit), (SafeLives (2015), Getting it right first time: policy report), (Golding, J. (1999), Intimate partner violence as a risk factor for mental disorders: a meta-analysis in ‘Journal of Family Violence’, 14 (2), 99-132.)

    30 women

    It is estimated that every day almost 30 women attempt suicide as a result of experiencing domestic abuse and every week three women take their own lives.

    2.4 million

    Last year 2.4 million adults were victims (1.7 million women and 699,000 men)

    1.3 million

    The police recorded nearly 1.3 million domestic-abuse related crimes in England and Wales in the year ending March 2020, an increase of 4% on the previous year.

    By Fiona Bawden, Times Online (8th May 2007)

    “Steve Connor, a student at City Law School, is a man on a mission. Six years ago he was a fairly directionless 27-year-old. Today, as well as taking the Bar Vocational Course, he is chairman of the National Centre for Domestic Violence, a ground-breaking organisation that he dragged into existence after a friend could not get legal help to protect her from an abusive partner.

    Connor’s route to the Bar has been circuitous. In 2001 he returned from a year in Australia (he says that he would not dignify describing it as a gap year), and took a job as a process server in South London. The job (“I just saw it advertised in the paper”) was not quite as dull as it sounds. On one occasion he was threatened with a machete, on another, he was nearly stabbed by a man he had arranged to meet on Clapham Common to serve with a non-molestation order: “He’d seemed really friendly on the phone…”

    The turning point in his life came when a friend, who was being abused by her partner, turned to him for support. Connor went with her to the police. She did not want to press criminal charges so the police suggested that she visit a solicitor to take out a civil injunction. “We must have seen 12 solicitors in a morning. We just went from one to the next to the next to the next. Everyone was very eager to help until we sat down to fill in the forms for the legal aid means test,” he says. The woman, who had a small child, did not qualify for public funding. But, Connor says, her financial situation as it appeared on paper did not bear any relation to her financial situation in reality. “She had a part-time job and she and her partner owned their home. Yet she didn’t have any money. Her boyfriend was very controlling and controlled all the money; he kept the chequebooks and didn’t let her have access to the bank account.”

    The injustice of the situation got under Connor’s skin. “I just couldn’t believe that there was no help available to people who did not qualify for public funds but could not afford to pay.

    I just kept feeling that this must be able to be sorted if only someone would address it.”That “someone” turned out to be him.

    In 2002, thanks entirely to Connor’s doggedness, the London Centre for Domestic Violence was formed. It started out with him and a friend, but is now a national organisation, covering 27 counties, and has helped approximately 10,000 victims last year to take out injunctions against their partners.

    NCDV now has nine full-time staff, 12 permanent volunteers and has trained over 5000 law and other students as McKenzie Friends to accompany unrepresented victims into court. We have also trained over 8000 police officers in civil remedies available regarding domestic violence. The National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV) has branches in London, Guildford and Manchester and is on track to have branches in 16 areas within the next two years.

    NCDV specialises exclusively in domestic violence work and could be characterised as a cross between McDonald’s and Claims Direct. The high degree of specialisation means that its processes are streamlined: clients can be seen quickly and the work is done speedily and cheaply. “Sometimes, we will have one of our trained McKenzie Friends at a court doing 10 applications in one day,” Connor says.

    Clients are not charged for the service. NCDV staff take an initial statement: clients who qualify for legal aid are referred to a local firm; those that don’t get free help from the centre itself. It runs on a shoestring, heavily reliant on volunteers and capping staff salaries at £18,000 a year.

    Steve expects to qualify as a barrister this summer and hopes that having a formal legal qualification will give the centre added clout. “We are already acknowledged as experts and consulted at a high level, so I thought it would be helpful if I could back that up by being able to say I’m a barrister,” he says. He is just about to complete a one-year full-time BVC course at the City Law School (formerly the Inns of Court Law School) and, all being well, should be called to the Bar in July. Although Connor sees his long-term future as a barrister, he says that he has no immediate plans to practise. “I want to get NCDV running on a fully national level. Then I may take a step back and have a career at the Bar.”