Last Updated on September 11, 2023 by Karl Thompson
The topic of domestic abuse is relevant to the families and households and crime and deviance modules within A-level sociology, as well as providing some of the strongest supporting evidence for the continued relevance of Feminism more generally in contemporary society.
It’s also one of those topics that’s good to teach (sensitively) for more ‘humanistic reasons’ – raising awareness of the nature and extent, and underlying dynamics of domestic abuse could play a role in helping prevent today’s teenagers being victims (or even perpetrators!) of this crime.
Below I provide some ‘starting point’ resources which students can use to research the nature and extent of domestic abuse in England and Wales.
Office for National Statistics: Domestic Abuse in England and Wales (to year ending March 2022) – This ONS report is a summary of data from the Crime Survey of England and Wales and Police Recorded Crime (CSEW) data. It focuses on extent of domestic abuse, broken down over time, by gender, age and different types.
Official statistics on Domestic Abuse
- An estimated 2.4 million adults aged 16 years and over experienced domestic abuse in year ending March 2022.
- 5% of adults aged 16 and over experienced domestic abuse. 6.9% were women and 3% were men.
- 20% of people had experienced domestic abuse at some point in their lives since the age of 16. This is equivalent to 10.4 million people.
- Only 43% of CSEW reported Domestic Abuse cases go on to be recorded officially as a crime.
- There has been a decline in the number of cases of Domestic Abuse in recent years. 9% of adults were victims of domestic abuse in 2006, but this had fallen to 6% by 2022.
- However, there hasn’t been any significant decline since 2019, before the Pandemic.
Police Recorded Domestic Crime
The police seem to be getting a lot better at recording domestic crimes. Despite CSEW crimes going down, the number of domestic crimes recorded by the police has increased recently.
- In 2016 the police only recorded 1.1 million domestic crimes
- In 2022 the police recorded 1.5 million domestic crimes.
Infographic on Domestic Abuse
NB – this is based on the 2017 ONS stats, I will update soon!
Good sources for researching Domestic Abuse
Victim Support – Victim Support is an independent charity which supports victims of crime. Their section on domestic abuse is a a very accessible guide to the basic definition and different types of domestic abuse, as well as containing information about how to get support if your a Victim, or you think someone else is.
Gov.UK – Domestic Abuse how to get Help – the government’s own resources on the issue.
Women’s Aid – most of their research publications focus on the state of domestic abuse services (e.g. refuges) provided by the state and what happens to the survivors of domestic abuse.
The NSPCC – focusing on children and domestic abuse (which the ONS stats above do not cover). 1 in 5 children have been exposed to domestic abuse – either as victims themselves, or witnessing it.
The Femicide Census – profiles of women killed by men – 113 women were killed by men in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2016 – 69% of them by their intimate partners, and only 8% by strangers. This 2017 publication by Women’s Aid outlines some of the grim facts of this crime.
A very useful website from the U.S. is The Recovery Village – It contains information on how to leave an abusive relationship, how to help a victim of domestic violence, and more. One of its key aims to empower victims of domestic abuse and their loved ones.
Office for National Statistics: Characteristics of Victims of Domestic Abuse 2022 – Here you can find out more details about what types of people are more likely to be victims of domestic abuse.
Relevance to A-level sociology
The prevalence of Domestic Abuse is strong support for the radical feminist view of the family.
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