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Translating national research into local action

In 2004 WBG member Professor Sylvia Walby, funded by the government’s Women and Equality Unit, carried out research into the costs of domestic violence in terms of public services (health, criminal justice and so on), lost economic output and the human and emotional cost. This work was then updated in 2009.

The 2004 report found that the total cost of domestic violence was over £2bn a year, over £3bn in services over £2.6bn in lost economic output as a result of violence and a human and emotional cost of over £17bn.

This work has been widely used to support calls for greater public investment in tackling domestic violence, both by local and national government, and by women’s organisations providing domestic violence and abuse services.

The people who most wanted it was the NGOs, they wanted it for their local services, so I did a lot of work working with local services, taking the costings and persuading them to work it out locally – if their city is 1% of the population they therefore have 1% of the costs, really simple. So both nationally and locally NGOs picked it up and used it to argue for services.

Sylvia Walby