Violence against women and girls

The cost to us all

The cost to individuals cannot be measured, but the costs of violence and abuse to the economy is shown to be very high.

A 2009 update report by Sylvia Walby on 'The Cost of Domestic Violence' estimated it costs the UK £15.8 billion each year in public service help for victims of domestic violence, and in the lost economic output of women.

In public services:

  • health professionals treat injuries from physical and sexual violence

  • teachers and education welfare officers are in daily contact with girls who are living with domestic violence or sexual abuse, or both

  • social care workers get many referrals that involve some form of violence against women and girls – for example, domestic violence, child sexual abuse, adult survivors of child sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, trafficking, risk of female genital mutilation

  • substance misuse services work with women who use drugs and alcohol as self-medication to cope with violence and abuse

  • housing services support women who leave home to escape violence and abuse