Statement of Support for the Work of Women’s Aid Federation of England

Our values

Equality, Diversity, Empowerment, Transformation

Our vision

A world where every woman’s right to equality and freedom from violence is unquestioned.

Our purpose

Women’s Aid exists to use its expertise, knowledge and influence to raise the status of women to a level where violence against them is no longer legitimised or tolerated.

Our mission

Establish Women’s Aid as the leading authority working to end violence against women and girls in their relationships.


1. Continually improve our understanding of survivors’ needs and circumstances and innovate to meet those needs better.
2. Represent and support our members internationally, nationally, regionally and locally.
3. Place centre stage politically and in public opinion the ending of violence against women and girls in their relationships.
4. Establish Women’s Aid as a sustainable organisation with the ability to grow.5.

Women’s Aid definition of domestic abuse

Women’s Aid defines domestic abuse as an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, by a partner or ex-partner. It is very common. In the vast majority of cases it is experienced by women and is perpetrated by men.

Domestic abuse can include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Coercive control (a pattern of intimidation, degradation, isolation and control with the use or threat of physical or sexual violence)
  • Psychological and/or emotional abuse[1]
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Harassment
  • Stalking
  • Online or digital abuse

Domestic abuse is a gendered crime which is deeply rooted in the societal inequality between women and men. It takes place ‘because she is a woman and happens disproportionately to women.’[2]

Women are more likely than men to experience multiple incidents of abuse, different types of domestic abuse (intimate partner violence, sexual assault and stalking) and in particular sexual violence. Any woman can experience domestic abuse regardless of race, ethnic or religious group, sexuality, class, or disability, but some women who experience other forms of oppression and discrimination may face further barriers to disclosing abuse and finding help.

Domestic abuse exists as part of violence against women and girls; which also includes different forms of family violence such as forced marriage, female genital mutilation and so called “honour crimes” that are perpetrated primarily by family members, often with multiple perpetrators.


[1] Psychological and emotional abuse have tended to be used interchangeably. The former covers abuse that impacts on the mind and mental health the latter abuse that impacts on emotions and wellbeing.

[2] United Nations (UN) Declaration on the elimination of violence against women 1993.

© 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

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