The Domestic Abuse Report 2021: The Annual Audit

The Domestic Abuse Report 2021 The Annual Audit The Domestic Abuse Report 2021: The Annual Audit gives an overview of the domestic abuse support services available in England, and including provision and usage, during the financial year 2019–20. This year it also gives an overview of the impact of Covid-19

Every year the Domestic Abuse Report also includes a separate thematic element. The 2021 thematic report will be published later in the year.

© Women’s Aid, January 2021

Please cite this report as:
Women’s Aid (2021) The Domestic Abuse Report 2021: The Annual Audit, Bristol: Women’s Aid.

Revision, June 2021: This report and the associated summary were amended on 24th June 2021 to
reflect incorrect numbers and percentages included on a previously published version of the report. Please see page 2 for details.

Key Findings

  • Local service providers continue to support large numbers of women and children. In 2019-20 Women’s Aid estimates that refuge services in England supported 10,592 women and 12,710 children and community-based services supported 103,969 women and 124,762 children
  • Only 73.5% (50 out of 68) of the respondents providing refuge and 67.8% (40 out of 59) of those providing community-based support services were commissioned by their local authority
  • Demand is still higher than the provision available, with 57.2% of refuge referrals declined during the year – 18.1% of all referrals were turned down due to lack of capacity in the refuge
  • The number of spaces in refuge services in England still falls short of the number of spaces recommended by the Council of Europe by 1,694 spaces, which represents a 30.1% shortfall. An additional increase of 361 to 4,251 spaces by 1 November 2020 is due to temporary emergency funding which will soon come to an end
  • Less than half of all vacancies posted on Routes to Support for England in 2019-20 were in rooms suitable for a woman with two children; only 4.0% could consider women who had no recourse to public funds.

Revision: estimates on numbers of referrals received, accepted and declined have been revised since publication of this report to reflect a correction to the core sample used. Please see our live data dashboards for updated figures.

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