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The Social and Economic Costs of Domestic Abuse

11 Marcalculating social and economic costs of domestic abuse

A couple of recent reports have highlighted the short-term and long-term costs that domestic abuse has on society. The government released a report alongside the Domestic Abuse Bill, exploring the economic costs of domestic abuse. Hestia and Pro Bono Economics investigated the costs of childhood exposure to domestic abuse in their report ‘On the Sidelines’.

The Economic Costs of Domestic Abuse

Research conducted by the government estimates that domestic abuse costs society over £66 billion in England and Wales. This figure is arrived at by summing together costs as a consequence and costs in response. Example costs include:

  • £14 billion is through lost output due to time off work and reduced productivity.
  • £47 billion attending to the physical and emotional harm
  • The cost to the health service is over £2 billion
  • Police costs are around £1.3 billion. 

All-in-all, the estimated average cost for a single person experiencing domestic abuse comes in at slightly over £34,000. 

On the Sidelines

This report from Hestia and Pro Bono Economics looks solely at the cost of childhood exposure to domestic abuse, estimating this to be at £1.4 billion. The figure is based on supporting children up to the age of 28. The report breaks the figure down into: 

  • Educational costs (£800m)
  • Foster care and residential costs (£460m)
  • Crime costs (£110m)
  • Health and adult social care costs (£70m).

An average of somewhere between £1,000 and £2,900 is the cost per child exposed to domestic abuse.   

Reducing the Cost

Adequately funded service provisions across the country, accessible to everyone would help to reduce the costs outlined in the reports.

Raised awareness of domestic abuse encourages earlier intervention – it is estimated that the average length of abuse is three years. Cutting the length of time before someone reports abuse would reduce the costs associated with abuse.

Businesses can also play a key role in reducing the costs of domestic abuse – by having effective policies in place to support employees experiencing domestic abuse. Staff who have undergone training are able to spot the signs of domestic abuse and signpost a person to access support.

At Leeway, we provide training for business leaders and their employees. If you would like to know more about our courses, please contact admin@leewaynwa.org.uk or call us on 0300 561 0077.

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