FL: Domestic ViolencePage 7 of 9

5. Costs and Consequences of IPV

In 2003 dollars, costs associated with IPV exceeded $8.3 billion, which included $460 million for rape, $6.2 billion for physical assault, $461 million for stalking, and $1.2 billion in the value of lost lives. Increased annual healthcare costs for victims of IPV can persist as much as 15 years after abuse ends. Victims of severe IPV lose nearly 8 million days of paid work—the equivalent of more than 32,000 full-time jobs—and almost 5.6 million days of household productivity each year (CDC, 2015a, 2003).

Nearly 1 in 4 women (22.3%) and 1 in 7 men (14.0%) aged 18 and older in the United States have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Nearly 14% of women (13.4%) and 3.54% of men have been injured as a result of IPV that included contact sexual violence, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. In 2010, 241 males and 1095 females were murdered by an intimate partner (CDC, 2015a). All of these crimes mean costs to individuals and society for medical and psychological treatment; law enforcement; social services; lost days of work and school; and so on.

In general, victims of repeated violence experience more serious consequences than victims of one-time incidents. Women with a history of IPV are more likely to display behaviors that lead to further health risks such as substance abuse, alcoholism, and suicide attempts. Intimate partner violence is also associated with a variety of negative health behaviors; studies show that the more severe the violence, the stronger its relationship to negative health behaviors by victims.

Some victims may engage in high-risk sexual behaviors such as unprotected sex, decreased condom use, early sexual initiation, choosing unhealthy or multiple sexual partners, or trading sex for food, money, or other items. There is often an increased use of harmful substances and illicit drug use, alcohol abuse, and driving while intoxicated. Victims of IPV may also engage in unhealthy diet-related behaviors such as smoking, fasting, vomiting, overeating, and abuse of diet pills. They may also overuse health services.

Women who experience severe aggression by men, such as not being allowed to go to work or school or having their lives or their children’s lives threatened, are more likely to have been unemployed in the past and be receiving public assistance (CDC, 2015a, 2003). They may have restricted access to services, strained relationships with healthcare providers and employers, and be isolated from social networks.

Psychological Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Antisocial behavior
  • Suicidal behavior in females
  • Low self-esteem
  • Inability to trust others
  • Fear of intimacy
  • Emotional detachment
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Flashbacks
  • Replaying assault in mind

Source: CDC, 2015a.