October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

  • Published
  • By Dr. Julie Reese, 944th Fighter Wing Director Psychological Health
  • 944th Fighter Wing

Violence erodes the sense of safety and security that is so essential to the well-being of individuals and families, and it significantly impacts communities through lost or reduced productivity, decreased property values, disrupted social services, increased medical costs and criminal justice activities.

“Domestic and family violence includes economic, physical, sexual, emotional, and psychological abuse of children, adults, or elders. Domestic violence causes worsened psychological and physical health, decreased quality of life, decreased productivity, and in some cases, mortality." (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499891/)

According to https://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/index.html “Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System”
• 67,000 die per year in the US from violence
• Two Million are treated each year in the US for violence
• One in four women and one in seven men will experience physical violence during a domestic violence incident

According to https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499891/ “Domestic Violence”
• Over three million referrals are submitted to DCS for child abuse in relation to domestic violence incidents, including 10% from physicians treating them for injury.
• Fatality rates for children exposed to domestic violence incidences is two out of 100,00 with women accounting for more than half the perpetrators.

Consider the US population’s economic burden related to these types of violence. Here is the estimated lifetime cost per:

1. Rape Victim: $122,460. There were 25 million reported rapes in the US in 2017 equaling $3.1 trillion in lifetime costs.
• https://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(16)30615-8/fulltext “Lifetime Economic Burden of Rape Among US Adults”

2. Intimate Partner Violence Victim: $103,767 per female and $23,414 per male victim equaling $3.6 trillion in lifetime costs.
• https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/2015data-brief508.pdf “National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey”
• https://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(18)31904-4/fulltext “Lifetime Economic Burden of Intimate Partner Violence Among U.S. Adults”

3. Child Abuse & Neglect Victim: $428 billion. One in seven children experienced child abuse and neglect in the last year.
• https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/childabuseandneglect/fastfact.html “Preventing Child Abuse & Neglect”
• https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30308348/ “Economic Burden of Child Maltreatment in the US, 2015”
• https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/aces/about.html “CDC-Kaiser Adverse Childhood Experiences Survey 1995-1997”

4. Suicide: cost $70 billion in 2018. The average cost of just one suicide is $1.5 Million. The national cost of suicides and suicide attempts in the United States in 2013 was $58.4 billion based on reported numbers alone. Lost productivity (termed indirect costs) represents most (97.1%) of this cost. Adjustment for under-reporting increased the total cost to $93.5 billion or $298 per capita, 2.1–2.8 times that of previous studies. Previous research suggests that improved continuity of care would likely reduce the number of subsequent suicidal attempts following a previous nonfatal attempt.
• https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/sltb.12225 “Suicide and Suicidal Attempts in the US: Costs and Policy Implications”

(LeeAnn Gossett, LCSW, 419 FW DPH & Julie Reese, DBH, LCSW, 944 FW DPH)