Costs Associated With Domestic Violence

This is another “fill in the gap” post! I didn’t go into costs for domestic violence a lot in my presentation due to time, but domestic violence is very costly. The costs of domestic violence in 1995 exceeded $5.8 billion, which breaks down into $4.1 billion in direct medical and mental health care costs and nearly $1.8 billion in indirect costs of lost productivity. In 2003, the costs exceeded $8.1 billion, a sum which consisted of $460 million for rape, $6.2 billion for physical assault, $461 million for stalking, and $1.2 billion in the value of lost lives. However, all of these numbers can be considered underestimates because the costs of the criminal justice system are not factored in. On the same token, a study that surveyed 3,333 randomly selected women aged 18 to 64 found that the total adjusted health care costs for women who disclosed physical abuse were 42% higher than for women who had never experienced abuse. Furthermore, women who had disclosed non-physical types of abuse had total annual healthcare costs that were 33% higher than woman who had not experienced any type of abuse. So, yes. Domestic violence is very costly, whether you’re treating visible symptoms of abuse or non-visible symptoms of abuse. This alone should spark more collective effort for screening and treatment, but I suppose it’s just such a sensitive issue that people are still hesitant regardless of the facts.

Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). Intimate partner violence. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/intimatepartnerviolence/index.html

De Boinville, M. (2013). Screening for domestic violence in healthcare settings. Retrieved from http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/13/dv/pb_screeningdomestic.cfm#

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