Research and reports

All of our work is underpinned by a solid evidence base. Throughout the year we conduct research projects, support research in universities and publish data on key issues to ensure that we are leading the way in evidence and data on domestic abuse. Below are our most recent research reports.

For resources, leaflets, posters and t-shirts, visit the resource centre.

Live Data

Explore service provision across England with our new live data dashboards.

Click on the links below to view our live data dashboards:

Information on referrals to local services and the challenges they faced from the Women’s Aid Annual Surveys (2017 to 2019).

Information on service types and refuge spaces from snapshots taken from Routes to Support in May each year (from 2010).

Gendered experiences of justice and domestic abuse. Evidence for policy and practice

Women’s Aid and the University of Bristol have come together to add to and update the evidence base on the gendered nature of domestic abuse. Gendered experiences of justice and domestic abuse. Evidence for policy and practice presents the findings from our analysis of 37 transcripts of in-depth survivor interviews. Our main findings are grouped around three discursive themes:

  • Household/relationship roles
  • Sexuality and intimate partner relationships
  • Mental health and domestic abuse

Our research adds to a wide body of literature on how sexism and misogyny set the scene for male violence against women.

Read our blog on the research here.

©Women’s Aid, 2021

Please cite this report as:

Women’s Aid, Hester, M., Walker, S-J., and Williamson, E. (2021) Gendered experiences of justice and domestic abuse. Evidence for policy and practice. Bristol: Women’s Aid

A Perfect Storm report cover

Covid-19: the impact

Women’s Aid has been working with survivors and services from the very beginning of the Covid-19 crisis. Our evaluation and monitoring on the needs of women and their children has shown the devastating impact of Covid-19 and lockdown measures, and how services need more help than ever to support them.

Fragile funding landscape

Fragile funding landscape

The extent of local authority commissioning in the domestic abuse refuge sector in England 2020

Our latest report, ‘Fragile funding landscape: the extent of local authority commissioning in the domestic abuse refuge sector in England 2020’, reveals the huge number of refuge services running without any statutory funding, including a significant proportion of specialist services ‘by and for’ Black and minoritised women.

Findings from the report are discussed further in our Safe blog here.

This report finds that:

  • More than 1 in 5 refuge services in England received no local authority commissioned funding in 2019/20 (60 out of 269 refuge services)
  • 18.5% of all refuge bedspaces running in November 2020 were not funded through local authority commissioning (788 out of 4251 bedspaces)
  • There were 18 refuge services run by specialist ‘by and for’ Black and minoritised women’s organisations running at November 2020. A much higher percentage, 57.5% (146 out of 254), of spaces in these services were provided by non-commissioned refuge services, compared to the overall 18.5%.
  • Women’s Aid survey data shows that only 19.8% of commissioned services (20 out of 101) received enough funding to cover all of their support staff costs.
  • The current commissioned refuge sector is currently supported by a significant number of non-commissioned spaces. Without these, the shortfall in spaces would increase from 24.5% to 42.5%.

© Women’s Aid, 2021

The Domestic Abuse Report 2021 The Annual Audit

The Domestic Abuse Report series

  • The Domestic Abuse Report 2021: The Annual Audit
  • The Domestic Abuse Report 2020: The Hidden Housing Crisis 
  • The Domestic Abuse Report 2020: The Annual Audit
  • The Domestic Abuse Report 2019: The Annual Audit
  • The Domestic Abuse Report 2019: The Economics of Abuse
  • Survival and Beyond: The Domestic Abuse Report 2017 (published 2018)

The Domestic Abuse Report is a series published by Women’s Aid that brings together the most comprehensive set of data on domestic abuse in the country.

Nowhere to Turn report series

Our Nowhere to Turn series draws on findings from Women’s Aid’s No Woman Turned Away (NWTA) project. The NWTA has been funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) since 2016, and supports survivors who face barriers and structural inequalities when searching for a refuge space.

Our latest report brings together original research findings on the specific needs that children and young people have when fleeing domestic abuse during their family’s search for a safe space to live. It brings together a range of statistical data sources to give an overview of children and young people’s journeys into safety. In addition, we built on our survivor-led research with adult women and worked closely with children and young people, who took part in interviews and produced artwork to document their experiences, to ensure that their voices are at the heart of this report.

  • Nowhere to Turn 2021 – Findings from the fifth year of the No Women Turned Away project 
  • Nowhere to Turn for Children and Young People – Documenting the journeys of children and young people into refuges
  • Nowhere to Turn 2020 – Findings from the fourth year of the No Women Turned Away project 
  • Nowhere to Turn 2019 – Findings from the third year of the No Women Turned Away project
  • Nowhere to Turn 2018 – Findings from the second year of the No Women Turned Away project
  • Nowhere to Turn – Findings from the first year of the No Woman Turned Away project
Funding specialist support for domestic abuse survivors

Funding specialist support for domestic abuse survivors

Funding life-saving specialist domestic abuse support services, will cost £393 million per year. This investment would be a fraction of the estimated £66 billion annual cost to society.

This is the finding of Women’s Aid’s latest report, which examines the cost of fulfilling the previous government’s committment to delivering a statutory duty on local authorities to fund refuge services, alongside sustainable funding for wider specialist domestic abuse services.

© Women’s Aid, 2019

Power to Change

The Power to Change – how to set up and run support groups for victims and survivors of domestic violence

Authors: Women’s Aid, NANE in Hungary, Associazione Artemisi in Italy, MTÜ Naiste Varjupaik in Estonia and Associacao de Mulheres Contra a Violencia in Portugal. The Power to Change is a European resource to help victims of domestic violence. It is a practical guide to running support groups and self-help groups with victims and survivors of domestic violence.

We also run a facilitation training course so that you can use this manual. Find out more.

Published November 2008.

Download The Power to Change

Change That Lasts Impact Briefing 4

This is our fourth briefing that includes findings from the delivery of our Change That Lasts programme from December 2018 to December 2019. The Change That Lasts approach aims to increase the number of women and children living free from abuse by improving the community, professional and specialist responses they receive, from the very first time they speak about the abuse to freedom and long-term safety.

© Women’s Aid, 2020

Change That Lasts Impact Briefing 3

This third briefing includes further findings from our delivery of Change That Lasts. It details the support provided by ambassadors and professionals.

© Women’s Aid, 2019

Change That Lasts Impact Briefing 2

This second briefing includes further findings from our delivery of Change That Lasts. It details the support provided by ambassadors and professionals.

© Women’s Aid, 2018

Funding a National Network of Refuges

Funding a National Network of Refuges: Providing a lifeline for families fleeing domestic abuse

We commissioned a group of expert consultants to work with us to develop an alternative model of funding for specialist women’s refuges. This work was taken forward in light of a  funding crisis that refuges have been tackling over the past few years. The hybrid model approach outlined in the report will provide much needed national accountability for the funding of domestic abuse support whilst ensuring that women’s refuges remain a key part of the local landscape of service provision.

Published: 19th September 2018

© Women’s Aid, 2018

Cover of the APPG report 2018

All-Party Parliamentary Group 2018 Report: Creating a Truly Transformative Domestic Abuse Bill

Our latest report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Domestic Violence and Abuse, for which Women’s Aid is the secretariat. The domestic abuse bill is a landmark opportunity to transform the national response to survivors of domestic abuse. The latest report details six key asks of the bill from the APPG.

© Women’s Aid, 2018

Nowhere To Turn 2018: Findings from the second year of the No Woman Turned Away project

Our report from the second year of the No Woman Turned Away (NWTA) project shows repeated failings from statutory services to those in priority need who are vulnerable due to fleeing domestic abuse.

© Women’s Aid, 2018

“What about my right not to be abused?” Domestic abuse, human rights and the family courts

This research report, created in partnership with Queen Mary University of London, looks at domestic abuse and child contact proceedings in the family courts through the lens of human rights. It uncovers a glaring gender gap in the way human rights are used and understood in the family courts. It also highlights a clear lack of understanding of the dynamics of domestic abuse, and new evidence of gender discrimination within the institutional culture of the courts.

© Women’s Aid, 2018

Change That Lasts Impact Briefing

This briefing includes early findings of the our new approach, Change That Lasts detailing the awareness raising activities and support provided by ambassadors and professionals.

© Women’s Aid, 2018

Nowhere To Turn Report

This report shows that there is a systemic failure by statutory agencies when it comes to responding to the needs of the most vulnerable survivors of domestic abuse. While chronic underfunding is increasing pressure on already overstretched refuge providers, leading to a crisis in refuge provision for the women who most desperately need support.

© Women’s Aid, 2017

The Women’s Aid Annual Survey

The Women’s Aid Annual Survey is the only national survey of the whole range of specialist domestic services for women and children in England. In 2016 we found that:

● On a typical day, two thirds of women in refuges had their children with them
● On a typical day, 78 women and 78 children were turned away from refuge
● More women and children were turned away from refuges than were let in

Child First: A Call To Action One Year On

Child First: A Call to Action One Year On

On the anniversary of the Child First campaign, we have published, Child First: A Call to Action One Year On, which highlights our achievements so far and what still needs to be done to keep children safe.

© Women’s Aid, 2017

Women's Aid Annual Survey 2015 cover

Women’s Aid Annual Survey 2015

The Annual Survey gives invaluable insights into the work of the domestic abuse sector and the experiences and needs of the women and children it supports.

Learn more
Child First logo

Child First: Safe child contact saves lives 

Our Child First campaign report, Nineteen Child Homicides, highlights what must change so children are put first in child contact arrangements in the family courts.

View and download supporting infographics, reports and research from the Child First campaign.

Learn more
SOS report cover

SOS: Save refuges, save lives: Why we need to save our services

September 2014

Learn more
Unequal, trapped and controlled: women’s experiences of financial abuse and the potential implications for Universal Credit

Unequal, trapped and controlled: research into women’s experiences of financial abuse and the potential implications for Universal Credit

March 2015

Learn more

Virtual world, real fear: Women’s Aid report into online abuse, harassment and stalking

February 2014

Learn more More online abuse resources
APPG Launch Report on New Inquiry into the Changing Landscape of Domestic and Sexual Violence Services

The Changing Landscape of Domestic and Sexual Violence services

February 2015

Learn more
Women's access to justice

Women’s Access to Justice: From reporting to sentencing

March 2014

Learn more
DAME Toolkit cover

Domestic Abuse and Money Education: Guidance for Professionals Supporting Survivors with Financial Issues

2012

The DAME project aims to increase the knowledge and confidence of professionals when assisting survivors who are experiencing financial difficulties and learning from the project has influenced the development of the DAME Guidance for Professionals Supporting Survivors with Financial Issues.

Learn more

Making the links: Disabled women and domestic violence

By Gill Hague, Ravi Thiara, Pauline Magowan and Audrey Mullender

This is the final report on the first ever national UK study of the needs of disabled women experiencing domestic violence and of the services available to meet these needs.

Download Report

Women’s Aid data on domestic abuse provision

The Government is debating a future funding model for supported housing, which includes refuges. Here are our latest statistics on refuges and the women who use them (November 2018 – PDF)

Read the 2018 briefing Read the 2017 briefing

If you have any questions or would like any more information about our research work please email [email protected]

© 2020 Women's Aid Federation of England – Women’s Aid is a company limited by guarantee registered in England No: 3171880.

Women’s Aid is a registered charity in England No. 1054154

Terms & conditionsPrivacy & cookie policySite mapProtect yourself onlineMedia │ Jobs

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?