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.
Mental health and domestic abuse: A review of the literature
This publication was developed as part of Women’s Aid’s Deserve To Be Heard campaign.
This literature review presents an overview of available evidence around domestic abuse, mental health and trauma in the United Kingdom.
© Women’s Aid, 2021Download the literature review Download the literature review in plain text
Reframing the links: Black and minoritised women, domestic violence and abuse, and mental health – A review of the literature
By Ravi K. Thiara and Christine Harrison, University of Warrick
Women’s Aid commissioned this report, which is independently researched and written by Ravi Thiara and Christine Harrison. We would like to thank them for this important contribution to the Deserve To Be Heard campaign.
© Women’s Aid, 2021Download 'Reframing the links' Download 'Reframing the links' in plain text
Rail to Refuge: Impact Briefing
The Rail to Refuge scheme offers free train travel to women, children and men fleeing domestic abuse, who have been given an offer of a place in refuge.
This impact briefing outlines the evidence base behind the Rail to Refuge scheme, the inception of the scheme, the impact on survivors so far, learnings and how the scheme can be taken forward beyond March 2022. This report covers the time from the scheme’s launch in April 2020 to 12th September 2021.Rail to Refuge: Impact Briefing Plain text: RTR Impact Briefing
The Shadow Pandemic
Shining a light on domestic abuse during Covid, calls for long-term, sustainable funding and support for survivors and services after Covid-19 increased existing pressures.
- The Shadow Pandemic is a domestic abuse strategic learning partnership, which brought together AAFDA, Chayn, Galop, Imkaan, Respect, Rights of Women, SafeLives, Social Finance, Standing Together, Surviving Economic Abuse and Women’s Aid to share expertise following the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Domestic Abuse Report series
- The Domestic Abuse Report 2022: Early Release
- 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.
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
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
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
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 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
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: 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
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: 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
Domestic Abuse and Money Education: Guidance for Professionals Supporting Survivors with Financial Issues
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
If you have any questions or would like any more information about our research work please email [email protected]