Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Annual cost of violence pegged at $6.9 billion after women leave abusive partners

Date:
October 11, 2011
Source:
University of British Columbia
Summary:
Even after women have separated from an abusive partner, the violence still costs Canadians an estimated $6.9 billion a year, according to new research.

Even after women have separated from an abusive partner, the violence still costs Canadians an estimated $6.9 billion a year, according to research at the University of British Columbia.

Led by UBC Nursing Prof. Colleen Varcoe, the study -- published in a recent issue of Canadian Public Policy -- is the first in Canada to comprehensively identify the spectrum of economic costs for services used by women who leave a violent partner.

Overall, the annual bill for violence rings in at a total of $13,162 per woman across health and non-health sectors, and within public and private domains. This estimate represents the use of health, legal and social services.

"What our findings make clear is that 'leaving' is not a panacea," says Varcoe, stressing that leaving decreases, but does not end the cost of violence to the system.

"In pointing out the economics of violence," adds Varcoe, "we are also showing the human costs which are incalculable. As a society, we must do a better job of prevention, early detection and support for women at risk to violence."

The study analyzed categories of cost to publicly funded programs and services that include hospitalization, X-rays, visits to the doctor, legal aid, children protection worker, unemployment insurance and social assistance. The study also calculated private, third-party costs such as psychologist, dentist, counseling and food bank use.

"We found that food banks account for a staggering 80 per cent of the non-health, private, third-party costs, which in this case are borne by charitable organizations," says Varcoe.

Also dramatic, says Varcoe, are the number of doctors and emergency room (ER) visits. Analyzing data for ER visits, the researchers estimate that women who have left violent partners went to emergency units 24 times per month (at $180 per visit) as compared to the Canadian female norm for the same age group of one ER visit per month. Similarly, the data shows 1.9 physician visits (at $47 per visit) per month compared to the norm of 0.37 physician visits per month.

The costs were identified by collecting service use and other data from 309 women who had left an abusive male partner within the previous three years. From B.C., Ontario and New Brunswick, the women were interviewed every year for five years.

To determine how much of the costs were due to violence, the researchers compared the women's use of services to that by women of a similar age in the general population. To arrive at the number of women in Canada impacted by intimate partner violence, the study used raw Statistics Canada data. The 2006 Census confirmed there were 10.3 million women in Canada aged 19-65. About one in ten -- 1.3 million women -- were legally separated or divorced, and not living with a partner.

The researchers then cross-referenced these statistics against findings from the 1993 "Violence Against Women Survey" (VAWS), the largest population-based survey focused on violence in Canada. The VAWS data show that 50.7 per cent of women reported physical assault from a former partner, 22.8 per cent in the three years preceding interview. The team then applied these percentages to 1.3 million women.

This allowed the investigators to make conservative estimates of $6.9 billion if including women have left abusive partners in Canada, and $3.1 billion if only including women who experienced violence in the past three years.

Varcoe says the study signals an urgent need for better coordination of responses that integrate health, social services, justice, education, and corporate sectors, and services oriented long beyond the immediate crisis of "leaving."

The study's co-investigators are: Assoc. Prof. Olena Hankivsky, Institute for Critical Studies in Gender and Health, Simon Fraser University; Nursing Assoc. Prof. Marilyn Ford-Gilboe, University of Western Ontario; Nursing Prof. Judith Wuest, University of New Brunswick; Asst. Prof. Piotr Wilkk, Departments of Pediatrics and Epidemiology and Child Health Research Institute, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario; Nursing Research Coordinator Joanne Hammerton, University of Western Ontario.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of British Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of British Columbia. "Annual cost of violence pegged at $6.9 billion after women leave abusive partners." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111011132154.htm>.
University of British Columbia. (2011, October 11). Annual cost of violence pegged at $6.9 billion after women leave abusive partners. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111011132154.htm
University of British Columbia. "Annual cost of violence pegged at $6.9 billion after women leave abusive partners." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111011132154.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) — Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) — NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) — In the U.S., there are more than 11 million couples trying to conceive at any given time. From helping celebrity moms like Bethanny Frankel to ordinary soon-to-be-moms, TV personality and parenting expert, Rosie Pope, gives you the inside scoop on mastering motherhood. London-born entrepreneur Pope is the creative force behind Rosie Pope Maternity and MomPrep. She explains why being an entrepreneur offers the best life balance for her and tips for all types of moms. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Catching More Than Fish: Ugandan Town Crippled by AIDS

Catching More Than Fish: Ugandan Town Crippled by AIDS

AFP (Apr. 22, 2014) — The village of Kasensero on the shores of Lake Victoria was where HIV-AIDS was first discovered in Uganda. Its transient population of fishermen and sex workers means the nationwide programme to combat the virus has had little impact. Duration: 02:30 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins