Pro Bono Economics analysis shows failure to support children exposed to domestic violence may cost UK taxpayers up to £1.4bn

5 March 2019

A new Pro Bono Economics report for Hestia – a charity dedicated to supporting people in times of personal crisis – estimates that 500,000 children in the UK today are exposed to severe domestic violence, a situation that brings with it increased risk of developing emotional disorders and high social costs.

In monetary terms, the impact is estimated to be between £1,000 and £2,900 per child, across the total 500,000 children in the UK who have been exposed to severe domestic violence, and who are not given adequate support to overcome trauma.

The long-run costs are calculated by what may be needed to support these children to the age of 28: educational costs of up to £790 million, foster and residential costs of up to £460 million, crime costs of up to £110 million, and health and social care costs of up to £70 million.

Commenting on the report launch, Pro Bono Economics Chair of Trustees Lord Gus O’Donnell said: “While these numbers are striking, and this report timely, there is always a need for more robust evidence with which we can enhance our understanding of such issues, from causes through to effects and solutions. Armed with such information we can better address these concerning social trends.”

Hestia is a charity working to help people across London in times of crisis, including survivors of modern slavery and domestic violence, young care leavers and older people. It has partnered with 330 organisations to facilitate UK SAYS NO MORE, a national campaign focused on greater awareness and prevention of domestic violence charities.

This analysis was carried out by Pro Bono Economics’ Associate Jon Franklin. It can be found within the “On the Sidelines” report, while detail on the analysis is available in our technical report. Both resources can be downloaded below.

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