Families and Domestic Violence

Module Sections:

Effects of Domestic Violence

The societal costs stemming from domestic violence, whether in tax dollars or human suffering, cannot be overstated. Domestic violence generates billions of dollars in costs per year in areas such as:

  • Child welfare system: 25.4 billion
  • Hospitalization/treatment of injuries: 6.6 billion
  • Mental health care: 1.1 billion
  • Law enforcement interventions: 33.3 billion

 (Prevent Child Abuse Iowa website, http://www.pcaiowa.org/child_abuse_costs.html)

The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study (1999) reported that children who suffer maltreatment and/or are exposed to dysfunction in the home have an increased risk of smoking, obesity, depression, alcoholism, illicit drug use, heart disease, and hepatitis. The new report estimates the costs of this long-term health and mental health care at $67.8 million. The most costly long-term effects are those associated with lost productivity to society from adult survivors of child abuse, who are disproportionately affected by unemployment and underemployment later in life. The report estimates the cost of lost productivity at $33 billion annually.

Audio Companion: Families and Domestic Violence