Healthify Blog

The Economic Cost of Domestic Violence

It's obvious that domestic violence takes a serious toll on victims' physical and emotional health, but what about its impact on their future earnings and productivity?
 
According to a new report by the McKinsey Global Institute, more than 39 million women — or about one-third of the country's adult female population based on U.S. census figures — experienced physical violence by an intimate partner, from slapping to beating.
 
Based on the CDC’s estimates of the cost of intimate partner violence, MGI calculated that this type of violence against women costs about $4.9 billion in the United States annually.
 
"Seventy percent of this comes from direct medical costs, 15 percent from lost productivity, and 15 percent from lost earnings over women’s lifetimes," the report stated.
 
Meanwhile, a 2004 study cited by the CDC estimates the annual economic cost of intimate partner violence against women as exceeding $8.3 billion. The study breaks that number down into $460 million for rape, $6.2 billion for physical assault, $461 million for stalking, and $1.2 billion in the value of lost lives.
 
While estimates for the toll of domestic violence mainly refers to female victims, domestic violence obviously incurs costs for both genders.
 
In a 2005 study, the average medical cost for women victimized by physical domestic violence was $483 compared to $83 for men; mental health services costs for women was $207 compared to $80 for men; while productivity losses were similar at $257 for women and $224 for men, according to the CDC.
 
According to the CDC, nearly 1 in 4 women (22.3 percent) and 1 in 7 men (14.0 percent) aged 18 and older in the United States have been the victim of "severe physical violence" by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
 
All of these stats point to the continuing need for effective prevention and intervention programs for domestic violence cases.
Topics: health disparities public health