Domestic abuse

Published

1. Main facts and figures

  • between April 2018 and March 2019, 5.7% of people aged 16 to 74 in England and Wales reported having been a victim of domestic abuse in the last 12 months
  • people of Mixed ethnicity (12.9%) were more likely to have experienced domestic abuse than White (5.6%) or Asian people (3.8%)
  • in the Mixed and White ethnic groups, women were more likely than men to have experienced domestic abuse in the past year
Things you need to know

These figures come from the annual Crime Survey for England and Wales. The survey asks people about their experiences of crime in the previous 12 months.

Surveys are completed in person and respondents have to be 16 and over.

Respondents can give details of any crimes they experienced, not only those they reported to the police.

The data does not measure the number of times they were a victim, or the seriousness of any crime.

The survey does not include:

  • people living in communal establishments (such as care homes, university accommodation and prisons)
  • crimes against commercial or public sector bodies

Reliability

All survey estimates are based on a sample of the population, rather than the whole population. This means there’s a degree of uncertainty which is greater when the number of respondents is small.

There are usually fewer respondents from ethnic minority groups due to the make-up of the general population. As a result, the level of uncertainty is higher for these groups.

The commentary for this data only includes reliable, or statistically significant findings.

Findings are reliable when we are confident they would be similar 19 times out of 20 if we repeated the same survey on other random people.

Differences are reliable if the range of values ('confidence intervals') for the 2 estimates being compared don't overlap.

What the data measures

The data for the year ending March 2019 shows the percentage of 16 to 74 year olds who reported being victims of domestic abuse in the 12 months prior to being interviewed.

In all previous years (up to the year ending March 2018), the data only included 16 to 59 year olds because 60 to 74 year olds were not asked the domestic abuse questions.

Domestic abuse is defined in the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) as any of the following:

  • non-sexual abuse by a partner, former partner or family member (physical force, emotional or financial abuse, or threats to hurt the respondent or someone close to them)
  • sexual assault carried out by a partner, former partner or other family member (rape or assault by penetration, including attempted sexual assault, or indecent exposure or unwanted touching)
  • stalking carried out by a partner, former partner or other family member (2 or more incidents causing distress, fear or alarm of receiving obscene or threatening unwanted letters, emails, text messages or phone calls, having had obscene or threatening information about them placed on the internet, waiting or loitering around home or workplace, or following or watching)

This definition broadly matches the cross-government definition of domestic abuse.

The CSEW doesn't include the offence ‘coercive and controlling behaviour’ (psychological and emotional abuse that can stop short of physical violence), introduced in legislation in 2015.

The CSEW has measured non-physical abuse since April 2004 but nothing that exactly matches 'coercive and controlling behaviour'.

The ethnic categories used in this data

Estimates are shown for the 18 ethnic groups listed in the 2011 Census.

2. By ethnicity

Percentage of 16 to 74 year olds who reported being victims of domestic abuse in the last year, and number of people surveyed, by ethnicity
Ethnicity % Sample size
All 5.7 13,188
Asian 3.8 784
Bangladeshi 1.1 80
Chinese 2.1 67
Indian 4.0 317
Pakistani 4.5 177
Asian other 5.2 143
Black 7.1 353
Black African 5.3 230
Black Caribbean 13.2 104
Black other withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 19
Mixed 12.9 175
Mixed White/Asian withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 45
Mixed White/Black African withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 27
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 17.3 59
Mixed other withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 44
White 5.6 11,741
White British 5.9 10,797
White Irish withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality
White Gypsy/Traveller withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality
White other 2.9 858
Other 6.7 113
Arab withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 35
Any other 7.1 78

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity’ (CSV)

Summary of Domestic abuse By ethnicity Summary

This data shows that, in the year ending March 2019:

  • 5.7% of 16 to 74 year olds in England and Wales reported having been a victim of domestic abuse in the previous 12 months
  • people of Mixed ethnicity (12.9%) were more likely to experience domestic abuse than White (5.7%) or Asian people (3.8%)
  • people in White Other ethnic group were 2 times less likely to experience domestic abuse than White British people (2.9% compared with 5.9%)
  • although the chart and table show differences between other figures, these are not reliable because of the smaller number of people surveyed

3. By ethnicity over time

Percentage of 16 to 59 year olds who reported being victims of domestic abuse in the last year, and number of people surveyed, by ethnicity over time
2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19
Ethnicity 2013/14 % 2013/14 Sample size 2014/15 % 2014/15 Sample size 2015/16 % 2015/16 Sample size 2016/17 % 2016/17 Sample size 2017/18 % 2017/18 Sample size 2018/19 % 2018/19 Sample size
All 6.5 20,644 6.1 18,887 6.1 19,769 5.9 20,578 6.1 10,046 6.3 9,745
Asian 4.8 1,283 2.4 1,161 3.1 1,240 2.0 1,386 4.9 737 4.1 706
Bangladeshi 5.9 101 0.5 92 4.2 90 1.3 131 2.8 64 1.1 75
Chinese 3.4 118 0.9 105 3.1 136 0.6 138 11.4 61 2.4 60
Indian 3.9 515 3.4 451 3.0 495 3.0 543 4.8 293 4.5 272
Pakistani 5.5 301 3.0 281 3.5 294 2.3 333 4.5 191 4.6 171
Asian other 6.1 248 0.9 232 2.3 225 0.3 241 4.1 128 5.6 128
Black 4.5 697 7.0 653 7.4 616 6.5 710 6.1 334 7.4 319
Black African 4.0 427 5.2 389 7.0 390 6.0 459 4.7 194 5.6 213
Black Caribbean 5.6 239 7.2 218 9.2 187 6.8 196 6.9 115 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality
Black other withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 31 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 46 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 39 9.8 55 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 25 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld to protect confidentiality
Mixed 9.1 274 9.4 243 7.0 280 10.8 290 6.5 141 13.7 164
Mixed White/Asian 5.4 63 10.9 66 5.6 73 18.4 80 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 34 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld to protect confidentiality
Mixed White/Black African withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 37 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 35 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 32 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 45 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 23 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld to protect confidentiality
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 11.9 95 9.2 86 8.7 106 6.4 95 7.6 50 18.8 53
Mixed other 10.4 79 7.9 56 7.9 69 8.2 70 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 34 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 40
White 6.7 18,223 6.4 16,662 6.3 17,459 6.2 17,958 6.2 8,721 6.3 8,439
White British 6.9 16,895 6.6 15,473 6.5 16,136 6.4 16,333 6.5 7,936 6.7 7,595
White Irish 2.9 160 10.5 127 10.6 130 4.9 135 10.1 61 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld to protect confidentiality
White Gypsy/Traveller withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 3 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 7 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 8 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 10 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 6 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld to protect confidentiality
White other 4.6 1,165 3.6 1,055 4.4 1,185 3.8 1,480 3.2 718 3.0 794
Other 8.0 157 2.9 151 3.1 155 7.4 220 2.5 108 7.3 102
Arab 3.5 66 3.6 59 0.8 57 5.8 91 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 43 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld to protect confidentiality
Any other 11.1 91 2.4 92 4.5 98 8.6 129 3.6 65 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity over time’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity over time’ (CSV)

Summary of Domestic abuse By ethnicity over time Summary

These estimates cover domestic abuse among 16 to 59 year olds. People aged 60 to 74 have been removed from the estimates for the year ending March 2019 so that the data is comparable over time.

This data shows that:

  • in every ethnic group, the percentage of people who experience domestic abuse remained broadly the same in the 6 years to March 2019
  • although the chart and table show changes in some figures, these are not reliable because of the smaller number of people surveyed

4. By ethnicity and sex

Percentage of 16 to 74 year olds who reported being victims of domestic abuse in the last year, and number of people surveyed, by ethnicity and sex
Female Male
Ethnicity Female % Female Sample size Male % Male Sample size
All 7.5 7,183 3.8 6,005
Asian 5.7 382 2.4 402
Bangladeshi withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 38 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 42
Chinese withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 35 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 32
Indian 6.2 153 2.1 164
Pakistani 9.1 85 0.8 92
Asian other 2.7 71 7.2 72
Black 10.4 219 3.3 134
Black African 7.1 139 3.4 91
Black Caribbean 18.7 68 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 36
Black other withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 12 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 7
Mixed 20.0 110 3.5 65
Mixed White/Asian withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 24 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 21
Mixed White/Black African withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 18 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 9
Mixed White/Black Caribbean withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 39 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 20
Mixed other withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 29 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 15
White 7.2 6,404 3.9 5,337
White British 7.6 5,862 4.0 4,935
White Irish withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality
White Gypsy/Traveller withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality
White other 3.8 494 1.8 364
Other 11.8 55 2.9 58
Arab withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 14 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 21
Any other withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 41 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 37

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and sex’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and sex’ (CSV)

Summary of Domestic abuse By ethnicity and sex Summary

This data shows that, in the year ending March 2019:

  • women were more likely to report being victims of domestic abuse in the previous 12 months than men
  • in the Mixed ethnic group, women were more likely than men to have experienced domestic abuse in the past year (20.0%, compared with 3.5%)
  • women from the Mixed ethnic group (20.0%) were more likely than Asian (5.7%) or White women (7.2%) to report being victims of domestic abuse
  • White women were nearly 2 times as likely as White men to report being victims of domestic abuse (7.2% compared with 3.9%)
  • although the chart and table show differences in some of the other figures, these are not reliable because of the smaller number of people surveyed

5. Methodology

The Crime Survey of England and Wales (CSEW) involves a structured interview. Interviews usually take place in respondents' homes.

The survey covers around 35,000 households every year. Respondents have to be 16 and over.

In the year ending March 2019, 70% of respondents completed the survey (compared with 73% the year before).

Weighting:

Weighting has been applied to the raw data to compensate for:

  • some addresses being more likely to be selected than others (given that some areas are more populated than others)
  • the difference in response rates between different types of neighbourhood
  • cases where only one residence can be selected in households with more than one
  • different probabilities of a respondent being selected based on different sized households
  • different response rates between different areas and age groups

Read more about how weighting is used to make samples more representative of the population.

Suppression rules and disclosure control

Any estimates based on fewer than 50 respondents are not reliable, so they are not shown.

Rounding

Estimates in the charts and tables are rounded to 1 decimal place.

Quality and methodology information

Further technical information

The Crime Survey for England and Wales is based on a sample of the population. Because of this, estimates have quantifiable and non-quantifiable error associated with them.

Non-quantifiable error includes:

  • respondents recalling crimes that occurred outside the reference period
  • respondents not mentioning a crime (because they didn't want do or they forgot to)
  • respondents saying they reported crimes to police when they didn't
  • the interviewer miscoding some responses

6. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Survey data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Office for National Statistics

Publication frequency

Ad-hoc

Purpose of data source

The Crime Survey for England and Wales is used alongside crime data recorded by police to provide the government with information about the extent and nature of crime in England and Wales.

The survey records all types of crimes experienced by people, including those crimes that may not have been reported to the police.

7. Download the data

Domestic Abuse data - Spreadsheet (csv) 28 KB

This file contains the following: measure, ethnicity, year, gender, age group, value, confidence intervals (upper bound, lower bound), sample size