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The Cost of Domestic Violence

Intimate partner violence racks up a $5.8 billion bill every year

  • March 11, 2015
  • By domesticshelters.org
The Cost of Domestic Violence

Every minute, 20 people in the U.S. become victims of intimate partner violence. [1] Every minute. The effects of domestic abuse run the gamut from bruises to homicide, and everything in between. While this epidemic costs many things—marriages, childhoods, lives—it also has very real, and very significant, monetary costs as well.

They say everything has a price, and violence is no different. Below, in numbers, what it costs us all:

$5,800,000,000: That would be $5.8 billion, and it’s the approximate amount domestic violence costs, in total, per year, in the U.S. Medical and healthcare costs take up $4.1 billion of that, but keep in mind that statistics show less than one-fifth of survivors reporting injuries from domestic abuse sought medical treatment.[2] Productivity losses at places of employment account for the remaining $1.8 billion of this total cost.[3]

8 Million: The number of paid work days per year that survivors of domestic violence will miss in the U.S.

5.6 Million: The estimated number of days of household productivity lost as a result of domestic violence. [4]

$483: The average cost a trip to the emergency room will cost a female survivor of domestic violence.[5]

18.5 Million: The number of mental health visits by survivors of intimate partner violence each year.[6]

Third. Domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness among families.[7]

See More Domestic Violence Statistics By Topic

Many of us not directly affected by domestic violence can feel at a loss for how to help curb it. If survivors are suffering silently among us, how will we begin to step in? Robert Pearl, MD, recently told Forbes magazine how employers can play a pivotal role.

“Employed individuals spend the majority of their waking hours at work. That’s why employers are ideally suited to spot the symptoms of domestic violence and intervene. Senior executives can promote a culture that includes domestic violence awareness and prevention. Information about domestic violence should be shared at every employee orientation. It should be addressed at every occupational health visit.”

Additionally, suggests Pearl, “Managers need to understand that domestic violence may explain absenteeism and ongoing health problems. They should be trained to recognize potential signs of domestic violence, including signs of depression and evidence of physical harm.” 

You can find more economic impacts of domestic violence in the Statistics section of this site.


[1]http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/nisvs/infographic.html

[2]http://www.ncadv.org/files/DomesticViolenceFactSheet(National).pdf

[3]http://domesticviolencestatistics.org/domestic-violence-statistics/

[4]http://domesticviolencestatistics.org/domestic-violence-statistics/

[5]http://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/r051025.htm

[6]http://www.ncadv.org/files/DomesticViolenceFactSheet(National).pdf