The Domestic Abuse Report

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. Beginning in 2018 with the publication of Survival and Beyond, it marked the first time data from five sources had been analysed together to build a 360° view of survivors’ needs and national service provision. The Domestic Abuse Report now incorporates our long-running Annual Survey, previously published as a standalone report available here.

The Domestic Abuse Report 2019: The Economics of Abuse

The Domestic Abuse Report 2019: The Economics of Abuse is the first thematic report from the series in 2019. The Annual Audit will be published later this month.

Economic abuse is often misunderstood but it is a key tactic used by perpetrators of domestic abuse to control their partner and stop her from leaving. The Domestic Abuse Report 2019: The Economics of Abuse explores the relationship between domestic abuse and economic resources, looking at the needs and experiences of survivors around finances, welfare, housing and employment (economic needs), and how these needs are met by specialist domestic abuse services.

© Women’s Aid, March 2019
ISBN 978-0-907817-68-0
Please cite this report as:
Women’s Aid (2019) The Domestic Abuse Report 2019: The Economics of Abuse. Bristol: Women’s Aid.

Key Findings

  • Nearly a third (31.9%) of respondents said their access to money during the relationship was controlled by the perpetrator.
  • A quarter of respondents said that their partner did not let them have money for essentials during the relationship.
  • A third of respondents had to give up their home as a result of the abuse or leaving the relationship and nine found themselves homeless as a result of leaving.
  • Two-fifths of all respondents who had left said they had difficulty accessing welfare benefits.
  • Nearly half of respondents who had left had to pay legal fees as a result of leaving (eg divorce, child contact/custody and housing).
  • 56.1% of our sample who had left a relationship with an abuser felt that the abuse had impacted their ability to work and over two fifths of all respondents felt the abuse had negatively impacted their long-term employment prospects/earnings.
  • 43.1% of respondents told us they were in debt as a result of the abuse and over a quarter regularly lost sleep through worrying about debt.
  • 91.8% of service providers responding to the annual survey support survivors to access food banks.
  • 88.1% of responding service providers gave survivors (and their children) ‘welfare packages’ including essential toiletry items, basic clothing and food.
  • 72.4% of responding service providers supported survivors to develop employability skills (including access to training, help with job applications, helping develop interview skills).
  • 80.6% of services supported women to access their own income/finances which had been controlled by the perpetrator(s).

The Domestic Abuse Report 2019: The Annual Audit – coming soon

In 2019 Women’s Aid will release its latest report from the series, including data from the Annual Survey 2018.

Small image depicting Domestic Abuse Report 2019: Key Findings from the 2018 Annual Survey

Survival and Beyond: The Domestic Abuse Report 2017 (published 2018)

Survival and Beyond looks at service provision and the needs of women and children including change over time from 2010 to 2017. We present the findings of the Women’s Aid Annual Survey 2017 alongside information from Routes to Support (the UK violence against women and girls service directory), On Track (the Women’s Aid case management and outcomes monitoring database), the Femicide Census (developed in partnership with Karen Ingala Smith) and the No Woman Turned Away Project.

© Women’s Aid 2018
ISBN 978-0-907817-38-3
Please cite this report as:
Women’s Aid (2018) Survival and Beyond: The Domestic Abuse Report 2017. Bristol: Women’s Aid.
Note the report was updated on 20th March to correct errors in some of the tables.

Key Findings

  • An estimated 3,557 women with 3,919 children stayed in refuge on the Day to Count (4th July 2017) across all services in England
  • An estimated 25,727 women were using community-based services in the Week to Count (3rd – 7th July 2017) across all services in England
  • Services supported an estimated 13,414 women in refuge services and 154,306 women in community based services throughout the year 2016 – 2017
  • 24.3% of referrals in 2016/17 to community-based services responding to the annual survey were declined
  • 60.0% of referrals in 2016/17 to refuge services responding to the annual survey were declined, one in five of all referrals were declined due to lack of space in the refuge

Of the 11,187 vacancies listed on Routes to Support during 2016/17:

  • only 1.7% (n=195) had wheelchair access with a further 1.3% (n=150) being suitable for a woman with limited mobility
  • only 766 out of 11,187 vacancies (5.4%) posted on Routes to Support would accept applications from women with no recourse to public funds
  • Less than half could take a woman with two children, this reduces to less than one in five for a woman with three children
  • 46.3% (57 services of 123) of organisations responding to the Women’s Aid Annual Survey 2017 were running an area of work without dedicated funding during 2016/17
  • 20.3% of organisations (24 organisations) received 25% or less of their funding from the local authority

© 2015 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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