Written evidence from The Violence, Health and Society (VISION) consortium [RCW0037]

 

The Violence, Health, and Society (VISION) consortium

VISION (https://vision.city.ac.uk/) is funded by the UK Prevention Research Partnership. We are a collaboration of epidemiologists, economists, data scientists, criminologists, evaluation experts, psychiatrists and more from multiple universities, administered by the Violence and Society Centre at City, University of London. Our research brings data together from health and crime surveys, health services, police, solicitors, and third sector domestic and sexual violence specialist services. Together, over the course of our five-year project, we aim to improve the measurement of data on violence to influence policy and practice and reduce violence and the health inequalities that result.

 

Evidence and recommendations

1. How are rising food, energy, housing, and other costs affecting women compared to men? What are the challenges for women in different types of households, for example, households with children; single parents; renters; houseowners; women with other protected characteristics.

Our submission aims to simply highlight that poverty is not only a poor socioeconomic outcome in isolation, but it permeates every aspect of life.

We wish to alert the committee to two such aspects with particular resonance for women:

Poverty and domestic violence in women

There is a strong association between poverty and domestic violence. While domestic violence affects all types of people, its prevalence is higher among those living in more deprived neighbourhoods (McManus et al. 2017), lower income households, and among those experiencing severe debt (McManus et al., 2021).

 

Associations between intimate partner violence and abuse (IPVA) and negative labour market outcomes

 

While the detrimental effects of domestic violence on physical and emotional well-being are widely understood, with women known to account for 71% of all victims of domestic violence in the year ending 2022 (ONS, 2022), we are less clear on what the precise socio-economic effects may be. Our ongoing research provides concrete indicators of some of the negative effects of intimate partner violence and abuse (IPVA) on labour market outcomes (Blom and Gash, 2023).

 

We find that IPVA has a significant and detrimental impact on victims’ labour market outcomes, with a noteworthy minority (10.4%) needing to take time off from work as a result of the violence and abuse experienced. Here it is worth reflecting on the many victims of IPVA who may be unable to risk taking time off work for fear of negative repercussions a work. Compounding this is the known reticence of victims of IPVA to disclose the abuse they experienced for a variety of reasons. Nonetheless, we found that of those who did take time off, about half took more than 1 week off and 26% took a month or longer. Compounding these effects, 3.6% were found to lose their job because of the abuse they suffered with victims of; stalking, sexual violence/abuse and threats the most likely to experience job loss. These findings clearly reveal the significant productivity effects of IPVA. Considering poverty is a risk factor for domestic abuse, as mentioned above, the loss of (stable) employment can continue the vicious cycle of abuse and socioeconomic deprivation. The report calls for enhanced workplace support for victims of IPVA to minimise their risks of job loss alongside the associated financial risks attached to wage loss.

Poverty and mental health in women

The report Often Overlooked: Young women, poverty and self-harm (Agenda, 2020) presents evidence showing that self-harm among young women is closely linked to experience of poverty and disadvantage (McManus et al., 2019).

The research was one of the first to focus on connections between poverty and non-suicidal self-harm in young women across England. It was based on analysis of data from more than 20,000 people and found that:

The report called for the conversation about young women’s mental health to be widened to include the impact poverty and disadvantage has on young women’s mental health.

 

 

References

Agenda (2020) Often Overlooked: Young women, poverty and self-harm.

https://www.agendaalliance.org/documents/29/Often_Overlooked_Report.pdf

Blom, N. and Gash, V. (2023) Labour market Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence and Abuse, Policy Report.

McManus, S., Bebbington, P. E., Tanczer, L., Scott, S., & Howard, L. M. (2021). Receiving threatening or obscene messages from a partner and mental health, self-harm and suicidality: results from the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey. Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology, 1-11.

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00127-021-02113-w

McManus S, Gunnell D, Cooper C, Bebbington P, Howard L, Brugha T, Jenkins R, Hassiotis A, Weich S, Appleby L. Prevalence non-suicidal self-harm and service contact in England, 2000-14: repeated cross-sectional surveys of the general population. Lancet Psychiatry 2019 6; 7: 573-581.

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpsy/article/PIIS2215-0366(19)30188-9/fulltext  

McManus S, Scott S, Sosenko F (2017) Joining the dots: the combined burden of violence, abuse, and poverty in the lives of women. Agenda: London.

https://weareagenda.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Joining-The-Dots-Report_Final_b_Exec-Summary.pdf

 

Office for National Statistics (ONS), released 25 Month 2022, ONS website, statistical bulletin, Domestic abuse in England and Wales overview: November 2022

 

 

November 2023