Costs of domestic violence
Recommendations for improving data practices
On the following pages you may find information about victimisation surveys and police data. Those sources have produced most reliable and extensive data available. Knowing the exact prevalence of domestic violence in any country is challenging.
Additionally, we summarized recommendations on good data harmonisation and consolidation that should be regarded.
GLOBAL STUDY ON HOMICIDE Gender-related killing of women and girls – 2018
Violence against women: An EU-wide survey (European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, 2014)
This FRA survey is the first of its kind on violence against women across the 28 Member States of the European Union (EU). It is based on interviews with 42.000 women across the EU, who were asked about their experiences of physical, sexual and psychological violence, including incidents of intimate partner violence (‘domestic violence’).
WHO (2013). Global and regional estimates of violence against women: prevalence and health of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence
The report presents the first global systematic review of scientific data on the prevalence of two forms of violence against women: violence by an intimate partner (intimate partner violence) and sexual violence by someone other than a partner (non-partner sexual violence). It shows, for the first time, global and regional estimates of the prevalence of these two forms of violence, using data from around the world. Previous reporting on violence against women has not differentiated between partner and non-partner violence.
Martinez, Schröttle, Condon et al. (2006). State of European research on the prevalence of interpersonal violence and its impact on health and human rights. CAHRV – Report 2006. Coordination Action on Human Rights Violations funded through the European Commission, 6th Framework Programme, Project No. 506348.
This report reviews studies on the prevalence of interpersonal violence and its health impact on the victims that have been conducted until 2006 in European member states.
Garcia-Moreno, Jansen, Ellsberg et al. (2005). WHO Multi-country-study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence against Women. Initial results on prevalence, health outcomes and women’s responses. WHO, Geneva.
WHO’s landmark study documents violence against women by their intimate partners. This report presents the initial results based on evidence collected from over 24 000 women in 10 countries. The report culminates in 15 recommendations to strengthen national commitment and action on violence against women by promoting primary prevention, harnessing education systems, strengthening the health sector’s response, supporting women living with violence, sensitizing criminal justice systems, undertaking research and enhancing collaboration.
Click on the countries to get information about different data and statistics.
Costs of domestic violence
Domestic violence incurs costs to the society. These costs burden every citizen annually. The costs of combating violence must be countered by the consequential costs of domestic violence. The European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) has estimated that the cost of gender-based violence across the EU is €366 billion a year. Violence against women makes up 79 % of this cost, amounting to €289 billion. Intimate partner violence, which shot up during the Covid-19 pandemic, makes up almost half (48 %, €174 billion) of the cost of gender-based violence. Intimate partner violence against women makes up 87 % of this sum (€151 billion). EIGE’s new study breaks down the different costs of gender-based violence, with the biggest cost coming from physical and emotional impact (56 %), followed by criminal justice services (21 %) and lost economic output (14 %). Other costs can include civil justice services (for divorces and child custody proceedings for example), housing aid and child protection. EIGE has calculated the cost of gender-based violence in the EU and in each Member State based on extrapolated data from the United Kingdom. This links the cost of gender-based violence in each EU Member State directly to its population size. As EIGE’s study includes a review of existing methodologies to calculate the cost of gender-based violence, EU Member States can use this as a building block to design their own domestic cost estimations. Here are the financial costs of domestic violence are summarized for some countries:
The study will be published in August 2021.
To ensure an accurate calculation of the cost of gender-based violence, EU countries need detailed data from public services such as law enforcement and the justice sector. Because gender-based violence is under-reported, countries also need survey data to get a true idea of the number of victims. Collecting detailed data on different forms of gender-based violence is an obligation under the Istanbul Convention, which all EU countries have signed and 21 have ratified.