Violence against women is costing British society £40bn a year yet charities working to provide refuge and aid to some of the most vulnerable people in society are woefully under-funded, a leading charity warns.
Organisations working to tackle different types of violence against women, including sexual violence, domestic violence, honour crimes, forced marriage and trafficking, are crippled by a lack of financial support, a report by New Philanthropy Capital concludes.
Figures in the study reveal that the expense to public services, lost economic output and knock-on effects of domestic and sexual violence costs the country more than the annual defence budget.
Unlike the more popular charities, women's organisations rely almost exclusively on local authorities and central government to provide most of their income rather than public donations by philanthropists.
Research shows the Donkey Sanctuary's income for 2006 was £20m with a further £30m in reserve. The total for the three largest charities tackling domestic violence – Refuge, Women's Aid Federation and Eaves Housing for Women – was just £17m.