Women’s Aid publishes updated figures on the annual investment needed to fund the domestic abuse support sector in England 


The national annual cost is estimated at £409 

In 2019 Women’s Aid produced a national assessment of the investment needed annually to fund the domestic abuse support sector, Funding specialist support for domestic abuse survivors (1). These estimates were based on the development of a unit cost for every 10,000 population and gave one cost for refuge services and another for community-based support services.  

Women’s Aid has updated its assessment to account for population rise and inflation. We now estimate that a total annual investment of £181m is needed to fund a national network of refuge services which meets the needs of women and children, and a further £228m to fund community based support services – at total investment of £409m a year. 

Investment needed to fund domestic abuse services in England 

Type of cost:

Cost for England (5,655 units) 

Refuge services:


Community based support services:    




As before this is subject to the six prerequisites shown below: 

  • Ring-fenced funding within the settlement for the ‘by and for’ expert sector 
  • Availability within the domestic abuse sector of the full range of service types 
  • Effective and sustainable funding of the wider support sector 
  • Provision for women with no recourse to public funds (NRPF) 
  • Availability of housing benefit to cover housing costs for refuge services 
  • Funded coordination and oversight/monitoring.  
(1) Women’s Aid (2019) Funding specialist support for domestic abuse survivorsBristol: Women’s Aid 
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