Shocking new domestic violence survey results released

Refuge has teamed up with ITV’s Loose Women to launch a powerful new domestic violence campaign.


To mark the launch of the campaign, Refuge and Loose Women have released the results of a YouGov survey which showed that:

  • Over 1 in 3 British women have experienced domestic violence
  • Almost two fifths of victims tell no one
  • 35% of women say they wouldn’t want anyone to know
  • Nearly 1 in 4 say they wouldn’t know how to help a victim
  • Two thirds of women believe abuse is a result of a partner losing their temper

Sandra Horley CBE, Chief Executive of Refuge will appear on Loose Women on Wednesday 17th September to comment on the findings of the survey.


Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive, Refuge

Sandra said: “Victims of domestic violence often feel trapped and isolated.  They may feel ashamed of what has happened to them, or they may be fearful of speaking out. The results from the survey confirm this – showing that 35% of women reported that they would not want anyone to know if they were experiencing domestic violence.”

“The survey also showed that domestic violence is still shrouded in myth and misunderstanding.  Many women believe that domestic violence is a private matter, and that it is caused when someone is unable to control their temper.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Domestic violence is all about power and control.  It is purposeful, systematic, patterned behaviour designed to exert control over a partner.”

“The truth is that domestic violence is not a private matter.  It is a huge social issue that affects the whole of our society.  We all have a role to play in ending this horrific crime – and we must start by speaking out about it.”

“I would urge anyone experiencing domestic violence to remember that you are not alone. Thousands of women experience domestic violence every single day in this country. Refuge can help you to stay safe. Visit Refuge for support.”




More information about survey results

An exclusive YouGov poll of 2,244 women for ITV’s Loose Women has found that over one in three British women (37%) have experienced domestic abuse[1].

Nearly 2 in 5 (39%) of these women said they hadn’t told anyone about it and 35% of all women said that if they experienced domestic violence, they would not want anybody to know they were a victim.

The YouGov survey for Loose Women will launch the show’s domestic violence campaign on Wednesday 17th September – helped by the charity Refuge – which will highlight the shocking national emergency of domestic violence and offer support and advice.

The survey showed that, out of the women surveyed who had not told anyone about their experience of domestic violence, nearly half (43%) didn’t think it was serious enough to get others involved; 33% thought it was a private matter between themselves and their partner; 14% thought their partner’s behaviour was a normal part of being in a relationship and 11% were worried they would not be taken seriously.

One fifth of victims (20%) revealed that they experienced domestic violence at the hands of more than one partner.

Over two-fifths (41%) of those surveyed claimed to know someone who is or has been a victim and yet 1 in 6 (17%) of these women hadn’t taken action. Almost a quarter (23%) of those who refrained from intervening said they did so because they thought it was a private matter. 14% didn’t know how to help or who to contact and 5% were too afraid of the victim’s partner to raise the alarm.

Of all the women that took part in the survey, nearly 1 in 4 (23%) said they wouldn’t know how to help a victim.

The survey also showed that almost two-thirds (65%) of women thought domestic violence happens when someone is unable to control their anger.

Editor of Loose Women, Martin Frizell said:

“Statistics, even as worrying as ours, never give the true picture of domestic abuse because so many victims suffer in silence. Many of our viewers will be sitting watching our show while living in fear of their abuser coming home in what’s descended into a routine, living nightmare. If by helping just one victim to find the courage to make plans and get out, then we will have done our job.”

[1] Domestic violence was defined as “any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (ie. psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are (or have been) intimate partners, regardless of gender or sexuality.”