tunately, financial concerns are not always discussed in domestic violence
cases, leading to short-term solutions for the victim, like staying with a
friend instead of finding sustainable housing elsewhere. If the quick fix approach is often used, some victims may feel there is no option for financial
freedom from the abuser through a court proceeding.
Domestic violence also imposes large financial costs on society. The majority of these costs are considered to be “direct costs,” including healthcare
services, social and welfare services, counseling, police and criminal justice
services, legal services, transportation costs, housing used by domestic violence victims and special education services used to treat children of abused
22 The costs of intimate partner rape, physical assault and stalking
exceed $5.8 billion per year.
23 Healthcare costs account for more than two-thirds of the total intimate partner violence-related expenses,
24 which corresponds to an annual $31 billion in medical costs directly attributed to domestic violence annually. The National Violence Against Women Survey
estimates that healthcare costs associated with a single incident of domestic
violence are roughly $1000 and that women lose approximately eight million days of paid work due to being victims of domestic violence.
United States loses nearly 5. 6 million days of household productivity each
year due to domestic violence.
26 These missed days may include time away
from work to seek medical care, attend court hearings, meet with the police
and seek counseling services. Another hidden cost is the increased rate of
homelessness experienced by women and children who are victims of domestic violence.
27 Fifty-seven percent of U.S. cities cite domestic violence
against women and children as the top cause of homelessness and this
homelessness rate continues to increase.
Domestic violence victims are also at an increased risk of depression,
post-traumatic stress disorder, and substance abuse, which can further hinder the ability to separate from the abuser and may require additional medi-
22. See Advocates for Human Rights, Community Costs of Domestic Violence (July 19,
23. Julie L. Gerberding et al., Ctrs. for Disease Control & Prevention, Costs of Intimate
Partner Violence Against Women in the United States
1, 2 (Mar. 2003) [hereinafter Costs of
25. Patricia Tjaden & Nancy Thoennes, U.S. Dep’t of Justice, Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women: Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey (Nov. 2000), https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij
26. Domestic Violence Facts, supra note 4.
27. Ga. Governor’s Office for Children & Families, Research Brief: Economic Abuse
and the Hidden Cost of Domestic Violence 1, 2 (Oct. 20, 2013), http://children.georgia.
28. Id. at 2.