The Women’s Aid Annual Survey 2015

Women’s Aid conducts a survey of all domestic abuse services in England each year.

The findings of this survey make up the largest collection of such data in the country, giving invaluable insights into the work of the domestic abuse sector and the experiences and needs of the women and children it supports.

Women's Aid Annual Survey 2015 cover

About the survey

The Annual Survey 2015 highlights clearly that the group of survivors accessing domestic abuse services are highly diverse and have complex support needs. Services are sometimes struggling to meet these needs, and to a significant extent this is due to commissioning practices that look for low cost alternatives to specialist support services, as well as increasingly expecting women to access services via the criminal justice system and a risk assessment.

This leaves specialist services to identify and meet needs which they are not funded to meet, and which the risk-based system has not identified or costed.

The survey also found that only about one in five of domestic abuse service-users had seen criminal sanctions or ongoing criminal proceedings against the perpetrator.

Annual Survey 2015

Key findings

Our Methodology

The Annual Survey 2015 questionnaire was sent out in September 2015 to all domestic abuse services in England. At the time there were 356 services in England on the domestic abuse services database UK Refuges Online (UKROL). More details on methodology can be found in Appendix B. The data presented in this report are from the analysis of the 162 responses we received. In order to add some further context to this report we have also included some data from our UKROL Services Information: Summary of Updates 2015/16
We asked services questions about their provision and service users over three main time periods:

  • The previous financial year (1st April 2014 – 31st March 2015)
  • A census day for refuge services called The Day to Count (Thursday 24th September 2015)
  • A census week for community-based services called The Week to Count (Monday 21st September – Friday 25th September 2015 inclusive)

This sample of 162 service responses forms the basis of our analysis of the ‘census day’ for refuges and ‘census week’ for community-based services. The results present a snapshot of support available to women and children during one otherwise unremarkable day and week. We also collected some data about the previous financial year. From 1st April 2014 to 31st March 2015 these 162 services supported 6,189 women in refuge services and 44, 534 women in community based services.[i]

[i] These numbers are the number of referrals accepted in the previous financial year.


2015 Women’s Aid Annual Survey 


2014 Survey of Domestic Violence Services Findings

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A year in the life of domestic violence services

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A year in the life of children and young people’s services

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Refuge and outreach: a moment in time

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2013 Survey of Domestic Violence Services Findings

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2012 Survey of Domestic Violence Services Findings

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2011 Survey of Domestic Violence Services Findings

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2010 Survey of Domestic Violence Services Findings

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© 2022 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

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