Domestic violence is costing London £918 million a year

Domestic violence costs London at least £2.5million a day, new figures reveal today. The huge bill includes the cost of treating victims and the financial toll on the criminal justice system.

Altogether, domestic violence costs London £918million a year.

The biggest part is the cost of taking time off work because of injuries. Almost a third of the total, just over £305million, accounts for the revenue lost through victims calling in sick or taking an extended leave of absence.

A further £275 million a year goes on treating the physical and mental effects of violence. In addition, bringing criminal proceedings costs just over £200 million. Each domestic violence murder is estimated to cost about £1 million.

The figures were released by Trust for London and the Henry Smith Charity, which fund domestic violence services in the capital. Davina James-Hanman, who represents the trusts which released a report on the issue today, said: “These figures reveal the huge financial impact domestic violence has across every London borough and the stress it puts on everything from housing and the NHS to social services.

“In a climate of cuts, a reduction in specialist domestic violence services would be a false economy.

“We are therefore calling on local and central government to ensure that services are well co-ordinated locally and provide comprehensive support to victims at low, medium and high risk, to respond to the devastating and potentially fatal effects of domestic violence.”

The number of women killed by a partner has risen by more than 40 per cent, from 72 in 2008 to 102 last year.

The figures, collated by domestic violence charity Refuge, also show more than one in four women experience domestic violence and that one in three local authorities provides no refuge or specialist support.

The trusts warned that potential cuts to the services that are now available would be devastating in the long run, in terms of protecting victims as well as financially.

By stepping in early, the costs of domestic violence can be substantially reduced, they said.

‘He threatened to murder me’

A mother of two is living in fear for her life after a violent ex-partner who threatened to kill her is due to be released from prison.

When Danielle tried to end the relationship with her former boyfriend he smashed up her home, causing £18,000 of damage.

The 38-year-old, who was not at home at the time, then received a death threat. Before he found her, police stopped him in his car and found five knives. He received 18 months in prison and will be released next month.

Danielle, who has two children aged 17 and 14, has since been rehoused by charities and has a high-security system installed.