Page last updated at 02:02 GMT, Wednesday, 23 April 2008 03:02 UK

Violence on women 'costs 40bn'

Domestic violence victim
The charity says the number of women affected is "unacceptably high"

Violence against women costs 40bn a year in England and Wales, according to a charity report.

The figure includes lost economic output, use of the legal system and expenses linked to the emotional toll.

The New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) study also said charities dealing with the problem were "grossly" underfunded.

It spent 18 months researching areas such as domestic and sexual violence, so-called honour crimes, forced marriage and human trafficking.

The Hard Knock Life report compared the combined 17m annual income of domestic violence charities Refuge, Women's Aid Federation of England and Eaves Housing for Women with that of 20m for the Donkey Sanctuary.

The study also found:

  • There were only 38 centres which were members of the Rape Crisis Network in England and Wales compared to 60 in 1996
  • There was no national rape telephone helpline for England and Wales
  • One in three local authorities in the UK did not have a women's refuge

Justine Jarvinen, co-author of the report, said: "A lot of these charities struggle every year to raise money.

"Our concern is not just the size of the sector, but the funding situation in terms of longevity and security of funding."

NPC chief executive Martin Brookes said over seven million women in the UK suffered from domestic violence at some point in their lives.

"That figure is unacceptably high, yet charities offering essential support and services to victims are failing to get the funding they need," he said.

"We would urge donors and government to support the vital work conducted by charities highlighted in our report.

"Without their work, millions of women and children would struggle to find the help they need to live free from abuse."

Minister's 'honour crime' pledge
10 Mar 08 |  UK Politics

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