Nursing professionals ‘more likely to experience domestic abuse’

Cavell Trust research shows importance of union’s support for members as well as campaigning and negotiation on ‘an issue for everyone’

section of poster with the title: don't look the other way

Nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants are three times more likely to experience domestic abuse than the wider population according to research from nursing support charity the Cavell Nurses’ Trust.

The charity’s recent survey of more than 2,200 nursing professionals found that 14% had experienced domestic abuse in the previous year – compared to 4.4% of people in general.

Commenting on charity’s report, Skint, shaken and yet still caring, UNISON head of nursing Gail Adams said that abuse affects those who experience it “in the workplace and beyond. It is an issue for everyone, including UNISON.

“We recognise the impact that domestic abuse has on our members’ lives.”

That is why the union offers practical support to help members, as well as campaigning on the issue and negotiating policies with employers.

UNISON can provide emergency assistance, including financial aid if necessary, through our charity There For You.

You can get in touch directly on 020 7121 5620, Monday to Friday, or via UNISON Direct on 0800 0 857 857 (text phone 0800 0 967 968) – lines are open 6am-midnight Monday to Friday and 9am-4pm on Saturday.

Alternatively, email

Cavell Nurses’ Trust surveyed more than 2,200 nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants about financial hardship and deprivation, domestic abuse, health, illness, wellbeing and employment.

The survey questions on domestic abuse matched those used in the 2012/13 crime survey for England and Wales carried out by the government’s official statistics body.

Domestic abuse takes many forms – physical, emotional, psychological, sexual and financial – and it affects victims in the workplace and beyond.

Anyone can experience it, regardless of gender, age, culture, ethnic origin, disability or sexual orientation, and anyone can be a perpetrator: partners, spouses, parents, children or carers.