In recent years the world has been grappling with an increasingly pressing issue – the cost of living crisis.  

This crisis, characterised by soaring inflation, housing unaffordability, and stagnant wages, has far-reaching consequences that extend beyond economic hardship.  

One of the most distressing side effects of this crisis is its role as a catalyst for heightened levels of domestic abuse.  

The connection between economic hardship and domestic abuse 

Domestic abuse, whether physical, emotional, psychological or economic has always been a deeply troubling issue in society. However, the cost of living crisis has served as a breeding ground for heightened levels of domestic abuse. Here are some key reasons why: 

  1. Financial Stress: As the cost of living rises, families often struggle to meet their basic needs, such as food, energy bills and housing. This financial stress can become a powder keg for domestic conflicts. Abusers may use their control over financial resources as a means of manipulation and power, making it even harder for victims to escape the cycle of abuse. 
  1. Housing Instability: High housing costs and limited affordable housing options can lead to overcrowded living situations or individuals staying in abusive relationships simply because they have nowhere else to go. Victims may fear homelessness or be financially unable to secure alternative housing. 
  1. Emotional Toll: Constant financial struggles and worries about the future take a significant emotional toll on individuals and families. This emotional burden can escalate conflicts and make abusive relationships even more volatile. 

Understanding the cost of living crisis 

The cost of living crisis is a multifaceted problem that affects people from all walks of life. It arises from a combination of factors, including rising prices of essential goods and services, increased housing costs, and wage stagnation.  

Families are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet, leading to financial strain and, in many cases, financial instability. While these economic challenges are daunting on their own, they also have profound implications for the dynamics within households. 

Addressing the crisis in Somerset 

To effectively address the cost of living crisis and domestic abuse in Somerset, Somerset Council has adopted a comprehensive strategy and provides practical guidance and local support. Here’s how we can make a difference: 

  1. Economic Relief: Somerset Council offer a number of initiatives that can help with short term financial assistance, support with energy bills, local food support and help with childcare. 

For more information go to: 

Cost of living in Somerset 

  1. Support with domestic abuse: Somerset Domestic Abuse Support is a local run support service to help anyone who is experiencing domestic abuse. The service provides emotional and practical advice, guidance and support to help you and your family become and remain safe from a perpetrator of domestic abuse. 

For more information go to: 

I need help now ( 

  1. Education and Awareness: Somerset Council has an ongoing commitment to raise awareness of the types of domestic abuse, who it affects and where to go for help and support.  

Public awareness campaigns can help educate people about the signs of domestic abuse and the resources available for people who experience it. Education can empower individuals to seek help and support friends and family members who may be in abusive relationships. 

Search: #YouWillBeBelieved  #NoClosedDoors  

  1. Employer Support: Employers can play a crucial role by offering flexible work arrangements, paid leave for victims, and resources for employees facing domestic abuse. Creating a supportive work environment can make it easier for victims to seek help and escape abusive situations. 

For more information go to: 

Employers domestic abuse toolkit ( 

  1. Support from Friends and Family: Friends and family members often play a pivotal role in the lives of domestic abuse victims. Their support can be a lifeline for those facing such challenges in Somerset

For information on supporting a friend or family member with domestic abuse go to: Supporting someone ( 

The cost of living crisis is more than just an economic challenge; it is a social crisis with far-reaching consequences. One of the most alarming of these consequences is the surge in domestic abuse cases.  

Together, we can create a society where economic hardships no longer contribute to the cycle of domestic abuse, and where victims have the resources and support, they need to break free from abusive relationships. 

If you are experiencing domestic abuse, worried about someone you know, or are concerned about the impact of your behaviour towards others, then help is available: or by telephoning 0800 69 49 999, between 8am – 8pm. 

In an emergency you should always dial 999. If you are worried that an abuser may overhear your call you can remain silent, tap the phone and dial 55 when prompted by the operator who will send help. 

If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech-impaired you can register with Once registered you will be able to send a text to 999 if you require help in an emergency. 

Meta Description: Explore the alarming connection between the cost of living crisis and rising levels of domestic abuse. Discover the economic stresses and emotional toll that exacerbate this issue. Somerset Council offers practical solutions, support, and resources to break the cycle of abuse. Help is available at or by calling 0800 69 49 999. 


About this article

January 8, 2024

Michael Wallis

Advice and support





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