Economics is seldom thought of when talking about domestic violence.  However, economics not only affects the victim of violence but also the economy of the neighborhood, community, and nation, especially considering that “23.6% of women and 11.5% of men reported at least one lifetime episode of intimate-partner violence”. (1) Domestic violence affects women’s employment in a substantial way. 

Some statistics regarding the financial impact of abuse:

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the financial impact of domestic violence ranges from individual to societal. In fact, they say the lifetime economic cost associated with medical services, lost productivity from paid work, criminal justice, and other costs, was $3.6 trillion. The cost of domestic violence over a victim’s lifetime was $103,767 for women and $23,414 for men. (2)

  • The health-related costs of rape, physical assault, stalking, and homicide by intimate partners exceed $5.8 billion each year. Of this total, nearly $4.1billion is for direct medical and mental health care services and productivity losses account for nearly $1.8 billion, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (3)

  • IPV victims lose a total of nearly 8.0 million days of paid work; the equivalent of 32,000 full-time jobs and nearly 5.6 million days of household productivity as a result of the violence. (4)

Compared with women who have not experienced DV, women who report DV victimization also report more days arriving late to work, more absenteeism from work, more psychological and physical health problems that may reduce their productivity, and greater difficulty maintaining employment over time.

Some of the tactics batterers use regarding finances are:

  • Stealing money from victims who work

  • Stealing stimulus checks

  • Forcing victims to justify spending – even for everyday items such as groceries, necessities for children, and medication

  • Maxing out credit cards

  • Failing to pay bills

  • Interrupting a victim’s employment or getting the victim fired from their job

Any time a victim is unable to be or become self-sufficient makes them more dependent on the abuser.  Research has shown that 21-60% of victims lose their jobs due to abuse. (5)

In order for victims to become self-sufficient, the ability to have job skills/training, the ability to keep a job, and to control their funds become a paramount issue that all of society should become invested in.  A victim/survivor’s success benefits everyone.

Sources:

  1. Employers Against Domestic Violence. (n.d.). Why is domestic abuse a workplace issue? https://www.northwesternda.org/sites/g/files/vyhlif3601/f/uploads/the_cost_of_domestic_violence_in_the_workplace_fact_sheet.pdf

  2.  Germano, M. (2019 October 17). Domestic violence has a financial impact too. https://www.forbes.com/sites/maggiegermano/2019/10/17/domestic-violence-has-a-financial-impact-too/?sh=7e2cbb6b9d04

  3.  Centers for Disease Control. (2003). Cost of intimate partner violence against women in the United States, 2003. https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pub/IPV_cost.htm

  4.  Ibid (p. 1).

  5.  National Domestic Violence Hotline. (2015). Facts about domestic violence and economic abuse: Did you know? (para 2). https://www.acesdv.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Domestic-Violence-and-Economic-Abuse-NCADV.pdf