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Only 5% of recorded domestic abuse cases end in conviction

Less than 5% of domestic abuse cases recorded by police last year ended in convictions, according to data released by the Crime Survey for England Wales (CSEW).

The data, covering August 2022 to March 2023, showed that of the 890,000 incidents of domestic abuse recorded by police, less than 40,000 resulted in a conviction.

Domestic abuse data from incident to conviction

The number of total estimated domestic abuse victims remained the same as the previous year, around the two million mark.

Rebecca Goshawk, Head of Partnerships and Public Affairs for London’s Solace Women’s Aid charity said: “There is still shame and stigma attached to being a ‘victim’ of abuse when the shame should be on the perpetrators. 

“Women and girls worry that they won’t be believed or supported and many have lost trust in both the Police and the Criminal Justice System. 

“These statistics and the knowledge that the rape conviction rate is less than 2% mean that for many women, reporting abuse is not something they will consider.”

The data provides only a partial insight to the reality of domestic abuse for two reasons.

The first is that due to an error in the CSEW survey, only eight months of data were counted, meaning that the actual figures are likely to be higher.

The second is that domestic abuse is often not reported to police, which is why the total number of victims is estimated.

It can often be referred to as a hidden crime and it can take victims a long time to come forward.

Goshawk explained: “At Solace we are only too aware of the barriers facing women experiencing domestic abuse.

“Our own research shows that it takes a woman, on average, seven years to leave a relationship and she will often endure multiple assaults before seeking help.

“We continue to work to prevent women being abused, but when they are, they need to know that there are empathic, informed, non-judgemental services to help them recover and gain justice.”

Featured image credit: doidam10 via

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