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A new Pro Bono Economics report for Hestia - a charity dedicated to helping people in times of personal crisis - has shown that a failure to support children exposed to domestic violence in the UK may be costing taxpayers between £480 million and £1.4 billion. With around 500,000 children in the UK having been exposed to severe domestic violence, this equates to between £1,000 and £2,900 per child.

Pro Bono Economics’ analysis, produced as part of Hestia’s “On the Sidelines” report, shows that not providing adequate support to overcome trauma could increase the number of children with conduct or hyperactivity disorders by between 35,000 and 100,000. 

The long-run costs are calculated by what may be needed to support a child to the age of 28, with educational costs totalling 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. The detailed analysis is available in a separate technical report produced by Pro Bono Economics for Hestia.

On the Sidelines was published in response to the Government’s draft Domestic Abuse Bill – launched January 2019 – and highlights the need for more robust evidence of the impacts of childhood exposure to domestic abuse.

Hestia is a charity working to help people across London in times of crisis. This includes survivors of modern slavery and domestic violence, as well as young care leavers and older people. Support may range from housing provision to mental health advice. In partnership with 330 organisations and individuals across the UK, Hestia has facilitated UK SAYS NO MORE, a national campaign focused on greater awareness and prevention of domestic violence. Providing open-source tools and resources for both individuals and organisations, the campaign encourages the UK to take a stand and get involved in ending domestic violence and sexual assault.

Pro Bono Economics’ analysis was carried out Economic Associate Jon Franklin, who worked to assess the impacts that have been best evidenced and quantified within existing literature. It focuses on the chain of evidence linking childhood exposure to domestic violence to the prevalence of behaviours such as conduct and hyperactivity deficit disorders. The report estimates the associated additional cost of public service usage by these children through the use of existing unit cost estimates, where available.

Pro Bono Economics would like to thank Jon for all his work on this report, which can be downloaded by clicking the link below and completing the survey.


5th March 2019