Cost of domestic abuse

Hestia has published findings from analysis into the cost of failing to provide support to children exposed to domestic violence. The report, which focuses on the long term costs incurred by the state in supporting children who develop conduct and attention disorders as a result of exposure to severe domestic violence, estimates a potential total cost of between £480 million and £1.4 billion. Read the report On the Sidelines: The Economic and Personal Cost of Childhood Exposure to domestic Violence

March 18, 2019

Child sexual exploitation by organised networks investigation

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has opened applications for core participants in its investigation into child sexual exploitation by organised networks in England and Wales. Core participants have special rights in the inquiry process, including receiving disclosure of documentation, being represented and making legal submissions, suggesting questions and receiving advance notice of the Inquiry’s report. The deadline for applications is 4pm on 27 March 2019.

March 18, 2019

Relationships, health and sex education briefing

The NSPCC has produced a CASPAR briefing summarising the Department for Education’s (DfE’s) draft statutory guidance about how Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education should be implemented in all schools in England by 2020. The briefing sets out key points covered in the guidance, including: developing a policy, content, parents’ right to withdraw, whole school approach and safeguarding.

March 18, 2019

Women are bearing the brunt of the Government’s inaction on social care – Age UK

Women are bearing the brunt of the Government’s inaction on social care, says Age UK, with ‘sandwich carers’ especially badly hit

 ‘Sandwich carers’ are under particular pressure and most (68%) are women

‘Sandwich carers’ – those caring for one or more under-16 as well as a parent or other older relative with care needs – are one of the groups hit hardest of all and are often under huge stress. The overwhelming majority of sandwich carers are women and they face horrible choices in trying to juggle their caring commitments with working, or giving up work and sacrificing their own financial interests as a result.

In a new report entitled Breaking Point: The social care burden on women, published to coincide with International Women’s Day, Age UK sets out the enormous challenges facing many women who are carers.

The report shows how women are going above and beyond to care for loved ones because good, reliable social care support simply isn’t there for them. This is no small problem and the impact on women who are sandwich carers is often especially severe. The report’s new analysis of sandwich carers finds:

  • There are 1.25 million sandwich carers in the UK. These are people caring for an older relative as well as bringing up one or more children aged under 16. Most (68% – 850,743) are women.
  • Sandwich carers ages range from 20s to 60s, but those aged 35-44 are the most likely to be carers, with more than a third (35%) of all sandwich carers being in this age group
  • Three quarters (73%) of sandwich carers provide under 10 hours of caring a week and one in fourteen (7%) over 35 hours per week – that’s 88,391 sandwich carers providing more than 35 hours of care to loved ones each week.

Eight out of ten (84%) sandwich carers providing over 35 hours per week are women – that’s 74,399 women providing more than 35 hours a week of care to loved ones whilst also raising a family.

  • The oldest sandwich carers (55-64) provide the most care the most, with three in ten (29%) of this age group providing more than 20 hours of caring a week.
  • In total, three quarters (78%) of sandwich carers are in paid work, and even among sandwich carers providing 35 or more hours of care a week half (49%) are working.

Part of a longer press release @

March 15, 2019

Failure to support children exposed to domestic violence costs UK taxpayers up to £1.4bn – new analysis

New analysis from charity Pro Bono Economics, carried out for charity Hestia, highlights the staggering potential cost to UK taxpayers of children exposed to severe domestic violence who are not given support to overcome their trauma. Around 500,000 children in the UK today have been exposed to severe domestic violence.

More than 1 million children each year are exposed to domestic abuse and more than half of those who experience domestic abuse as a child will go on to be a victim in adulthood(1).

Published in response to the Government’s draft Domestic Abuse Bill, which fails to include specific measures to protect children who live in households where domestic abuse takes place, On the Sidelines: The Economic and Personal Cost of Childhood Exposure to Domestic Violence estimates the potential costs to the taxpayer of children who witness severe domestic violence and go on to develop behavioural disorders as between £480m and £1.4bn. This is made up of:

  • Health & Adult Social Care – up to £70m
  • Crime – up to £110m
  • Education – up to £790m
  • Foster & Residential – up to £460m

The report highlights the need to build better quality evidence on the impact of childhood exposure to domestic abuse. The scale of the potential costs supports calls by UK Says No More, Hestia’s national domestic abuse and sexual violence campaign, for the Domestic Abuse Bill to include measures to better protect children including:

  • Child survivors are given special waiting list status (protected status) for all NHS services including Child and Adolescent Mental Health Support (CAMHS).
  • Children in refuges and those that have had to move due to domestic abuse have priority access to school places, with a duty on local authorities to respond to a change of school request from refuges within 20 days.

Lyndsey Dearlove, Head of UK SAYS NO MORE at Hestia said:

“For too long children have been overlooked in the response to domestic abuse, seen merely as “witnesses” rather than children who have experienced deep trauma and crisis. This must change. We need measures put in place to support children early on and break the cycle of abuse. The Domestic Abuse Bill is a once in a lifetime opportunity to make this a reality and prevent catastrophic and lifelong damage which costs both individuals and the taxpayer dearly.”

Lord Gus O’Donnell, Chair of Pro Bono Economics said:

“Children exposed to domestic abuse suffer in the short, medium and long-term.  As a society we have a moral imperative to ensure protection from the immediate risk of such trauma but also provide support whenever – unfortunately – such exposure should occur. While these numbers are striking, and this report timely, there is always a need for more robust evidence with which we can enhance our understanding of such issues, from causes through to effects and solutions. Armed with such information we can better address these concerning social trends.”


Part of a longer press release at


March 15, 2019