Investing in prevention saves lives. And dollars.
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a costly crime leading to far reaching and long lasting health impacts for individuals, families, and their communities.
|“The health-related costs of rape, physical assault, stalking and homicide committed by intimate partners exceed $5.8 billion each year. Of that amount, nearly $4.1 billion are for direct medical and mental health care services, and nearly $1.8 billion are for the indirect costs of lost productivity or wages. The estimated total days lost from employment is $858.6 million. The value of lost productivity from employment is $727.8 million.”
(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, April 2003)
The most recent national research tells us that 29% of women and 10% of men have experienced IPV and have reported at least one significant health impact related to this violence (CDC, 2011). Impacts include: severe injury, PTSD, substance abuse, the need for emergency housing and/or medical services, missed days of school/work, and becoming pregnant and/or contracting sexually transmitted infections. The economic burden this has on healthcare delivery, criminal justice, and social service systems is substantial, cross-cutting, and ongoing.
Fortunately, preventing IPV is possible. But the time to act is now. Recent studies out of California suggest that just a 5% reduction in rates of IPV would account for an $8.6 million dollar economic savings (Prevention Institute, 2007). Prevention offers us strategic solutions – a means to foster healthy, thriving futures for families and communities and furthermore, a means to financially unburden our economy in the process. Our current network of intervention and support system are providing vital lifelines to those impacted by IPV, and ongoing societal support is critical. However, to ultimately end domestic and sexual violence and build healthy and safe communities, we must also invest in proactive, community-driven prevention efforts.