Domestic violence: statistics

Some 1.2 million women and 700,000 men experience domestic violence each year, according to the Office for National Statistics.1

However, these figures relate only for official reports of violence, with the real figure likely to be much higher. The effect on survivors' mental health is profound and obvious.

  • Domestic violence has an estimated overall cost to mental healthcare of £176 million.2
  • Research suggests that women experiencing domestic abuse are more likely to experience a mental health problem, while women with mental health problems are more likely to be domestically abused, with 30-60% of women with a mental health problem having experienced domestic violence.3
  • Domestic violence is associated with depression, anxiety, PTSD and substance abuse in the general population.4
  • Exposure to domestic violence has a significant impact on children's mental health. Many studies have found strong links with poorer educational outcomes and higher levels of mental health problems.5

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1 ONS. (2014). Intimate Personal Violence and Partner Abuse. Retrieved from [Accessed 12/03/18].

2 Walby, S. (2004). The Cost of Domestic Violence. Research Summary: Women & Equality Unit. Retrieved from [Accessed 29/02/16].

3 Howard, L.M., Trevillion, K., Khalifeh, H., Woodall, A., AgnewDavies, R., & Feder, G. (2009). Domestic violence and severe psychiatric disorders: Prevalence and interventions. Psychological Medicine, 40(6), 881–893.

4 Trevillion, K., Oram, S., Feder, G., & Howard, L.M. (2012). Experiences of domestic violence and mental disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLOS One, 7, e51740.

5 Gilbert, R., Kemp, A., Thoburn, J., Sidebotham, P., Radford, L., Glaser, D., & MacMillan, H. (2009). Recognising and responding to child maltreatment. The Lancet, 373(9658), 167–180.