ENOUGH IS EN0UGH
COUNTING THE COST OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
MINUTE IN THE UK police receive a call to a victim of domestic violence,
disturbing new research has revealed.
And in the Metropolitan Police Service area alone, one in four of all violent
crimes dealt with by police is a domestic violence incident'.
These statistics were revealed in a '24 hour snapshot' of domestic violence
carried out among police forces throughout the UK and domestic violence support
agencies in September.
The snapshot, the first of its kind in the UK, was carried out on September 28.
In conjunction with the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and the Association of
Chief Police Officers (ACPO), all forces and key agents in the voluntary sector
who offer safe housing to women and children fleeing violence, were asked to
count how many times they came in contact with domestic violence survivors.
The information gathered has been analysed by Professor Betsy Stanko, Director
of the Economic and Social Research Council's Violence Research Programme at the
University of London.
The findings were presented at New Scotland Yard today (Wednesday) by Professor
Stanko, Head of the Met's Diversity Unit Deputy Assistant Commissioner John
Grieve, and Assistant Chief Constable of Sussex Maria Wallis.
Police were asked to note the kind of injuries sustained on September by those
who called them for help. Injuries endured ranged from domestic violence on
include rape, cuts, stabbing, bleeding due to being kicked during pregnancy,
'throat slashed with a razor blade' and bruising to terror and intimidation.
The findings also reveal that: Police receive more than 1,300 calls
per day - more than 570,000 each year -for domestic violence
any given police service, from 1.1% to 4.9% of all calls to police for
assistance by the public are for domestic violence 3 .
This is an average of just under 3% of all calls to police for assistance.
81 % are female victims attacked by male perpetrators; 8% are male victims
attacked by female perpetrators; 4% are female victims attacked by female
perpetrators; 7% are male victims attacked by male perpetrators.
These situations include partners and ex-partners, both living together and
already living separately. On many occasions, children were present when the
police were called.
Domestic violence support agencies played a key role in the 'audit'. The study
took into account referrals to organisations including Victim Support, the
Women's Aid Federation of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, Refuge
Deputy Assistant Commissioner John Grieve said:
"The findings of 'Snapshot' are a shocking reminder of the scale of
domestic violence both in London and nationally. Domestic violence disregards
gender, race, religion and age. Police cannot work in isolation and the
statistics identify a need for all agencies to fully support the victim.
The work pioneered by the Met's Community Safety Units in the area of Domestic
Violence has shown that with a proactive approach everyone benefits."
Professor Stanko said:
"We now know that a person rings the police for help for domestic violence
every minute. Using the British Crime Survey to gauge the truer proportion of
domestic violence, we could say that an incident of domestic violence occurs in
the UK every six to 20 seconds."
Assistant Chief Constable Maria Wallis said:
"The 'Snapshot' is to be welcomed, and has provided us with a unique
opportunity to capture data which is not ordinarily available. It gives 8
valuable insight into the extent of domestic violence, and how it affects so
many different agencies. Professor Betsy Stanko, and colleagues from the
Metropolitan Police are to be congratulated on embarking on such an impactive
I would like to thank other agencies which include Women's Aid, Refuge, Relate,
Victim Support and other statutory and voluntary organisations who have provided
a substantial proportion of the data, and we look forward to continuing our work
with them in the near future. Domestic violence will not be tolerated, and
working with our partner agencies we will continue to provide an effective and
improved service to victims."
2 The 2000 British Crime Survey estimated that calls
received Monday 6 am through Friday 6 pm represent 53% of the total incidents of
domestic violence in the BCS. Using this as the base, then the total for the
week would be around 11,037, and by 52 weeks, 573,962 total reported incidents
of domestic violence. We believe this to be an undercount, as many calls may not
be recorded as related to domestic violence. I Figures were extrapolated from
1999 using data provided by the Scottish Executive Justice Department Police
Media requesting facilities should contact Miriam Rosenthal on 020 7230 7244 or
the press bureau at New Scotland Yard on 020 7230 2171.
Each police service was asked to count the number of calls for domestic
violence and to report the total number of calls to police on this day. In
England all 39 police forces responded. The RUC, England and Wales were able
provide a total count of the day. We obtained an average figure for Scotland
from the Scottish Executive for 1999.
3- The findings will be examined in more detail at a global conference on
domestic violence taking place at the Queen Elizabeth 11 Conference Centre,
London on 29th and 3 th October.
Speakers will include Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens,
Home Office Minister Paul Boateng, Professor Ruth Busch, Associate Professor of
Law, University of Waikato, New Zealand; and Corinna Seith, Senior Lecturer at
Universitat Bern, Switzerland. Media are invited to attend both days of the
conference, 9am for 9:30am at the Queen Elizabeth 11 Conference Centre, Broad
Sanctuary, Westminster SW1 3EE on 29th 30 th October.
For security purposes please confirm your attendance at the conference by noon
on Thursday 26 th October by contacting Becky Rawlings/Nikki Redmond on 020 7230
Helpline: 0845 30 30 900
Victim Support receives the bulk of its referrals from the police. Not
all Victim Support Schemes in the UK said they take on the responsibility of
supporting victims of domestic violence. The study highlighted the following:
England: The 185 Schemes (54% of all VSS in England) reported that one in fifteen of their referrals on the 28 th of
September were for domestic violence. Of these, 90% were women; 10 % men. VSS
also helpfully recorded how many people they are currently supported due to an
incident of domestic violence. Nearly 2200 women and men were noted by Schemes
as currently receiving‑ on‑going support and advise because of the
problems associated with ‑domestic violence. This represents over 2200
people in England. Of these 96% are women; 4% are men.
VSS Wales: The 12 VS Schemes (one third of all VSS in Wales) reported that one
in twenty of their referrals on the 28 th of
September were for domestic violence. All were women. Those people currently
being supported and advised due to domestic violence numbered 71 people
(representing a possible 200 people in Wales). Of these, 96% are women; 4% are
Women's Aid: Refuge for those fleeing violence:
Women's Aid Federation of England: 01179 44 44 11
Not all those who experience violence flee home. Those that do, however,
tell harrowing stories of escalating and life threatening violence.
Women's Aid and Refuge serve as life‑saving housing for many women
and children under threat of repeated and escalating violence. In many ways,
Woman's Aid could be considered a key partner in the prevention of repeat
victimisation. Indeed, when a woman and her children seek respite in a refuge,
there is a greatly reduced use of the police for immediate crisis intervention.
Women's Aid Federation of England: 237 groups manage 400 refuges. 168
returned information to us. In these refuges, 1494 women and 1912 children were
living. In February 2000, WA conducted a census of their refuge accommodation.
The above figure represents over 2/3 of all groups in England. The February 2000
census found 2045 women living in refuge in England. Our results from the Day
Count are compatible with the February census. We estimated that approximately
2104 women might have been housed in all WA refuges on September 28
We also asked what other contact women
made to WA. The above reporting refuge
groups had contact with an additional 746 women who rang these local groups for
information and support. 127 women contacted Women's Aid National Helpline and
additional 941 calls could not get through. The responding refuge groups
reported that over 200 women asked for safe refuge and could not be
accommodated in already full refuges.
London) housed 110 women and 102 children on the 28 th September. They report receiving 200 calls on their
National Helpline. They further report that they could not accommodate 36 women
who asked them for safe shelter on this day.
Welsh Women's Aid
a total count for all 42 refuges. 172 th women and 240 children were housed in refuges in
Wales on the 28 September. WWA received 138 calls from women for advice, support
and refuge. WWA was unable to offer accommodation to 46 women who desperately
needed safe housing.
Women's Aid Northern Ireland
a full account of their refuge population for the 28 th September.
In their 11 refuges, 81 women and 102 children were living in safe respite from
violence. The NIWA staff received 52 calls for help and assistance and requests
for support from their on‑call staff.
Women's Aid Scotland
39 affiliated groups with 37 refuges. There are a further 6 unaffiliated
refuges. We received information from 27 groups. Within these groups' refuges,
177 women and 170 children were housed on 28 th September. These refuge staff received calls from 189
women. The groups reported they could not accommodate 16 women who desperately
needed to flee from the violence they were experiencing.
Helpline: 01788 573241
Relate is a national registered charity with over 60 years' experience in
helping people with their couple relationships. We have little if no information
about the impact of domestic violence on this important service in the UK.
Relate agreed to participate in the count. We received information from 75 of 96
Centres in England, and a count for Northern Ireland. The results give us much
food for thought. Research suggests that violence escalates during the
separation process. We found the following:
one in five counseling sessions held in English Relate Centres on 28"'
September (over 900) mentioned domestic violence during the counseling session
as an issue in the marriage;
Over one in five counseling session held in Northern Ireland on 28
(45) mentioned domestic violence during the counseling session as an issue in