What is Domestic Abuse?

  • Domestic abuse is physical, psychological, sexual or financial abuse that takes place within an intimate or family-type relationship and forms a pattern or coercive and controlling behaviour. This can include forced marriage and so-called ‘honor’ crimes.
  • Domestic violence is repetitive and life-threatening, it tends to worsen over time and it destroys the lives of women and children.


  • Domestic violence is very common: research shows that it affects one in four women in their lifetime.
  • Two women a week are killed by their partners or former partners.
  • Domestic violence has risen dramatically in London in the past seven years, figures show, prompting concern about the hidden problem of “widespread sexual violence” in the capital.
  • Over 4,000 domestic abuse arrests made since Covid-19 restrictions introduced.
  • We know that this is a difficult and worrying time for everyone – but particularly so for adults and children living with abuse.
  • If you or someone else is in immediate danger please call 999 and ask for the police.

Domestic abuse:

  • Will affect 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men in their lifetime.
  • Leads to, on average, two women being murdered each week and 30 men per year.
  • Accounts for 16% of all violent crime (Source: Crime in England and Wales 04/05 report), however it is still the violent crime least likely to be reported to the police.
  • Has more repeat victims than any other crime (on average there will have been 35 assaults before a victim calls the police).
  • Is the single most quoted reason for becoming homeless (Shelter, 2002).
  • In 2010 the Forced Marriage Unit responded to 1735 reports of possible Forced Marriages.

In addition, approximately 400 people commit suicide each year who have attended hospital for domestic abuse injuries in the previous six months, 200 of these attend hospital on the day they go on to commit suicide.

The cost of Domestic Abuse

It has been estimated that domestic abuse costs the public £23 billion per annum.  This includes the cost to the criminal justice system, to the health service, to social care and to housing.  It is widely accepted however that this figure is an under-estimate as there are so many costs that cannot be measured.

The Home Office estimates that each domestic abuse murder costs the country just over £1 million and totals £112 million per annum.

Intimate Violence Home Office National Statistics
According to the 2010/11 BCS, seven per cent of women and five per cent of men experienced domestic abuse in the last year, equivalent to an estimated 1.2 million female and 800,000 male victims.

In 2010/11, estimated levels of domestic abuse experienced in the last year were at the lowest levels since 2004/05 when the self-completion module was

Types of Abuse

  • Physical
  • Sexual
  • Emotional
  • Financial
  • Honour based violence
  • Stalking and Harassment

Common Myths

  • Myth: Isn’t domestic abuse just all about hitting? Surely being emotionally abused isn’t that bad?
  • Myth: Domestic abuse stops once the relationship has ended.
  • Myth: As many men are victims of Domestic Violence than women.
  • Myth: Don’t some people choose violent partners or like the abuse?
  • Myth: Domestic Abuse happens because of alcohol/drugs/poverty/childhood abuse/stress/anger/because the abuser was provoked.

Who May be a Victim of Domestic Abuse?

  • Domestic abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of their social group, class, religion, race, disability, sexuality or lifestyle.
  • Domestic abuse is not a ‘once-off’ occurrence but is frequent and persistent aimed at instilling fear into, and compliance form, the victim.

Who May be the Perpetrator?

  • Abusers come from all walks of life, regardless of age, class, race or religion.
  • Abusers can be a partner, ex-partner or family member.
  • A family member can be: mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister & grandparents;
  • This can be directly-related, in-laws or step-family.

Effects of Domestic Abuse

  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Behavioral

Domestic abuse is a widespread, under-reported problem that cannot be ignored and is totally unacceptable.

We believe that:

  • Domestic Abuse cannot be tolerated in any context
  • Everyone has the right to live free from violence and abuse
  • The responsibility and choice to commit domestic abuse lies solely with the perpetrator

We also acknowledge that:

  • More women experience domestic abuse, and use domestic abuse services, than men.
  • Female victims of abuse committed by partners or ex partners are more likely than male victim to be at risk of repeat victimisation, serious injury, or death caused by domestic violence and abuse.
  • Men are also victims and can experience domestic abuse by female partners, male partners, by family members and by carers.

We support people affected by domestic abuse in any relationship regardless of gender, gender identity or sexuality.

First included in the BCS. There has been no statistically significant change in the level of domestic abuse since 2008/09.

Around six per cent of women and four per cent of men experienced partner abuse in the last year, equivalent to around 900,000 female and 600,000 male victims.

Non-physical abuse (i.e. emotional and financial abuse) was the most common type of abuse experienced by both female (57%) and male (46%) partner abuse victims.

Female victims of partner abuse were more likely than males to suffer from nonphysical abuse, threats and sexual assault, but apparent differences between the sexes for abuse involving force and stalking were not statistically significant.

Around a quarter (27%) of partner abuse victims suffered a physical injury as a result of the abuse. Among those who had experienced any physical injury or other effects (such as emotional problems), around a quarter (28%) received some sort of medical attention.

Domestic Violence

  • The present legislation lacks clarity. The legislation needs to simplify and consolidate.
  • The Police inconsistent response is partly down to “cultural blocks” Officers not always take reports seriously and have to deal with a large number of cases.
  • Domestic Violence figures by March 2016:
    1.8 M victims – Age between 16–59
    1.2 M female victims
    651.000 male victims
    79% did not report partner or ex-partner
    100.930 cases resulted in prosecution
  • New Legislation: Control through Social Media – may face 5 years in prison
    Coercive Control & the law.