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Domestic abuse

March 2013

This section contains a selection of statistics on domestic abuse and children. More statistics can be found on our statistics page, or if you need further information, please contact the NSPCC Information Service.

In a study of 139 serious case reviews in England 2009-2011, 63% of cases were found to have domestic abuse as a risk factor.
From: Brandon, Marian, Sidebotham, Peter, Bailey, Sue and Belderson, Pippa, Hawley, Carol, Ellis, Catherine and Megson, Matthew (2012) New learning from serious case reviews: a two year report for 2009-2011 (PDF). London: Department for Education.

In a study of 56 significant case reviews in Scotland since 2007, 30 (54%) of cases were found to have domestic abuse as a risk factor.
From: Vincent, S. and Petch, A (2012) Audit and analysis of initial and significant case reviews (PDF). Edinburgh: The Scottish Government.

In a study of 24 case management reviews in Northern Ireland between January 2003 and December 2008, 14 (58%) cases identified concerns around domestic abuse; whilst 7 (29%) referred to an incident of domestic abuse in the last year.
From: Devaney, J. et al. (2013) Translating learning into action: an overview of learning arising from Case Management Reviews in Northern Ireland 2003-2008 (PDF). [Belfast]: Department for Health, Social Services and Public Safety. Northern Ireland.

According to a recent NSPCC study, 12% of under 11s, 18% of 11-17s and 24% of 18-24s had been exposed to domestic abuse between adults in their homes during childhood. Adult males were the perpetrators in 94% of cases where one parent had physically abused another.
From: NSPCC (2011)  Child abuse and neglect in the UK today.  London: NSPCC.

Domestic abuse accounts for 14% of all violent crime.
From: Office for National Statistics (2013) Focus on: violent crime and sexual offences, 2011/12 (PDF). [Newport]: Office for National Statistics (ONS)

Children who experience severe maltreatment by a parent or guardian are between 2.7 and 2.9 times more likely to also have witnessed family violence. Under 11s who had experienced physical abuse by a parent or guardian were almost 5 times more likely to have witnessed family violence.
From: NSPCC (2011)  Child abuse and neglect in the UK today.  London: NSPCC.

Between 1994 and 2004, 29 children in 13 families were killed during contact (or in one case residence) arrangements in England and Wales. Ten of these children were killed in the last two years.
From: Saunders, H. (2004) 29 child homicides: lessons still to be learnt on domestic violence and child protection. Bristol: Women’s Aid Federation of England (WAFE).

The total cost of domestic abuse to services (the criminal justice system, health, social services, housing and civil legal) amounts to £3.8 billion per year, while the loss to the economy is £1.9 billion per year in England and Wales. An additional element is the human and emotional cost which is not counted in the cost of services. This amounts to just under £10 billion a year. Including all costs, the total cost of domestic abuse for the state, employers and victims is estimated at around £16 billion per year.
From: Walby, S. (2009)  The cost of domestic violence: update 2009 (Word).  Lancaster University: UNESCO Chair in Gender Research.

Contact the NSPCC's Information Service if you have questions about the NSPCC, domestic abuse or any child protection topic