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New report finds one million women in poverty have experienced violence or abuse


A new report out today from Agenda shows that 1 in 7 women in poverty have faced extensive violence and abuse, more than twice the rate for women who aren’t in poverty.

Joining the Dots’ funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation is the first report to combine data on women’s experiences of poverty, mental health, life circumstances, abuse and violence, to portray how different forms of inequality combine in the lives of women in poverty across England.

The main findings from the 76-page report are:

  • Being poor can make women and girls more vulnerable to perpetrators of abuse and prevents them from escaping abusive situations
  • The impact of abuse women experience in poverty can make them feel trapped
  • The combination of experiencing extensive abuse alongside poverty creates a web of adversity in women’s lives
  • 38% of women surveyed had attempted suicide, compared to 4% of women in poverty who had not been abused
  • 55% had a common mental disorder such as anxiety or depression, compared to 17% of women in poverty who had not suffered any abuse
  • 21% have been homeless, compared to just 3% of women in poverty who had not been abused
  • Women in poverty are twice as likely as other women to experience almost every form of interpersonal violence and abuse that was covered in Agenda’s report

Agenda is now calling on the Government to prioritise the provision of support which improves the life chances of women facing these combined disadvantages.