Violence against women in the UK

As outlined clearly by the End Violence Against Women Coalition, violence against women in the UK is highly prevalent:

Rape and sexual violence

- One in five women has experienced some form of sexual violence since the age of 16 (MoJ, Home Office, and ONS, 2013).
- Approximately 85,000 women are raped and over 400,000 women are sexually assaulted in England and Wales every year (MoJ, Home Office, and ONS, 2013).
- Sexual violence is even more prevalent for younger women as one in three teenage girls has experienced some form of sexual violence from a partner (University of Bristol for NSPCC, 2009).

- Most women in the UK do not have access to a Rape Crisis Centre (Map of Gaps, 2007).
- Black and Minority Ethnic women and girls face particular barriers and gaps to accessing specialist services (Imkaan, 2015).

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

- Over 60,000 girls under the age of 15 are at high risk of FGM every year in England and Wales (City University, 2014).
- Over 137,000 women in England and Wales are already living with the consequences of FGM (City University, 2014).
- In September 2014, NHS hospital trusts in England were treating 467 female patients newly identified as having been subjected to FGM and 1,279 female patients previously identified as having been subjected to FGM (HSCIC, 2014).

Forced marriage and ‘Honour’-based violence

- In 2014 the Forced Marriage Unit gave advice in 1267 cases of possible Forced Marriage (Home Office, FCO 2014).
- The vast majority of Forced Marriage cases are young people between ages 17-25, and 79% are female (Home Office, FCO 2014).
- In the past five years, police have recorded more than 11,000 cases of ‘honour’-based violence cases across the UK, including  include abductions, beatings and even murders (IKWRO, 2015).

Domestic violence

- Domestic abuse is ‘any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to: psychological, physical, sexual, financial, and emotional’ (UK Government 2015).
- Domestic abuse is greatly underreported. However, it is estimated that in the UK, it affects 1 in 4 women in their lifetime. It has more repeat victims than any other crime (Women’s Aid).
- On average, two women in England and Wales are killed every week by a current or former male partner (Women’s Aid).
- In Northern Ireland, the police recorded 28,420 incidents of domestic abuse over a one  year period in 2014-2015 (PSNI 2015).
- There were  60,080  incidents of domestic abuse in Scotland recorded by the police in 2012-13 (Scottish Government 2013).


City University (2014), Female Genital Mutilation in England and Wales: Updated statistical estimates of the numbers of affected women living in England and Wales and girls at risk.

Coy, M., Kelly, L., and Foord, J. (2007), Map of Gaps: The Postcode Lottery of Women’s Support Services, End Violence Against Women Coalition..

Equality Now, FORWARD, City University London, Institute for Women's Health (2012), Report of a Research Methodological Workshop On Estimating the Prevalence of FGM in England and Wales.

Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) (2014), Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Experimental Statistics.

Home Office, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) (2014), Forced marriage unit: statistics January - December 2014.

Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO) (2015), NEW RESEARCH REVEALS: In only five years, police record more than 11,000 ‘honour’ based violence cases.

Ministry of Justice, Home Office & the Office for National Statistics (2013), An Overview of Sexual Offending in England and Wales.

Police service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) (2015), Domestic Abuse Incidents and Crimes Recorded by the Police in Northern Ireland: Quarterly Update to 30 June 2015.

Dr Ravi Thiara, Centre for the Study of Safety and Well-being (University of Warwick) & Imkaan, supported by the Isla Foundation (2015), Between the Lines: Service Responses to Black and Minority ethnic (BME) Women and Girls Experiencing Sexual Violence.

Scottish Government (2013), Statistical Bulletin Crime and Justice Series: Domestic Abuse Recorded by the Police in Scotland.

UK Government (2015), Domestic violence and abuse.

University of Bristol and NSPCC (2009), Partner exploitation and violence in teenage intimate relationships.