Many women fear the festive period. Not a year goes by when we don’t see a seasonal rise in incidents reported to the police.

For most of us, Christmas is a time that we spend with our families reading cracker jokes, drinking sickly mulled wine and a haze of Christmas parties. But for others, Christmas is the most feared time of the whole year. Domestic violence rises significantly during the festive period.

Not a year goes by when we don’t see a seasonal rise in incidents reported to the police.

As you can imagine, the combination of financial pressure, free-flowing alcohol and being cooped up in closed quarters, exerts additional burden on relationships. In an abusive relationship with this added pressure tensions are likely to rise and the possibility of abuse happening is significantly higher.

Key statistics about domestic abuse in England and Wales  

  • Each year nearly 2 million people in the UK suffer some form of domestic abuse – 1.3 million female victims (8.2% of the population) and 600,000 male victims (4%)   
  • Each year more than 100,000 people in the UK are at high and imminent risk of being murdered or seriously injured as a result of domestic abuse
  • Women are much more likely than men to be the victims of high risk or severe domestic abuse: 95% of those going to Marac or accessing an Idva service are women
  • In 2013-14 the police recorded 887,000 domestic abuse incidents in England and Wales 
  • Seven women a month are killed by a current or former partner in England and Wales 
  • 130,000 children live in homes where there is high-risk domestic abuse
  • 62% of children living with domestic abuse are directly harmed by the perpetrator of the abuse, in addition to the harm caused by witnessing the abuse of others
  • On average high-risk victims live with domestic abuse for 2.3 years before getting help
  • 85% of victims sought help five times on average from professionals in the year before they got effective help to stop the abuse

How widespread is domestic abuse?

  • Each year around 2.1m people suffer some form of domestic abuse –  1.4 million women (8.5% of the population) and 700,000 men (4.5% of the population) 
  • An estimated 4.6m women (28% of the adult population) have experienced domestic abuse at some point since the age of 16 
  • A quarter of 13-18 year old girls report experiencing physical abuse in their own intimate partner relationships, and one-third sexual abuse
  • In 2013-14 the police recorded 887,000 domestic abuse incidents in England and Wales 

How many people die as a result of domestic abuse?

  • In 2013-14, 85  women were murdered by their partner or ex-partner in England and Wales. This accounted for just under half (46%) of all murders of women aged 16 or over. In comparison, 7% of men murdered were killed by their partner or ex-partner 
  • This means 1.6 women a week – or 7 a month – are killed by a current or ex-partner in England and Wales 
  • It is estimated many more take their own lives as a result of domestic abuse: every day almost 30 women attempt suicide as a result of experiencing domestic abuse and every week three women take their own lives

What forms does domestic abuse take?

  • 88% of high-risk victims experience multiple forms of abuse, including physical and sexual abuse, harassment and stalking and coercive control (jealous and controlling behaviours)
  • In 8 in 10 (79%) high-risk cases, the abuse is escalating in either frequency or severity, or both
  • Approximately 42% of domestic violence victims have been victimised more than once. Victims experience an average of 20 incidents of domestic violence in a year, which can often increase in severity each time
  • Over 80% of high-risk victims report experiencing physical abuse
  • Nearly 90% of high-risk victims report experiencing emotional abuse and/or coercive control (jealous and controlling behaviours)
  • 79% of teenage victims of domestic abuse experienced physical abuse, and 19% sexual abuse

How can we help?

    Contact Details
    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Google Privacy Policy, Our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.