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CDC Reports Costs of Violence Against Women

Violence at hands of intimate partners costs over $5.8 billion

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The health-related costs of rape, physical assault, stalking, and homicide against women by their intimate partners exceeds $5.8 billion annually, according to a report just released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

"Violence against women harms more than its direct victim. It also harms the children, the abuser and the entire health of all our families and communities. For the health of our country, it is critical that we stop this cycle now," Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson stated. "Just last week, the Department hosted a meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women and shared the many Department programs that are making a profound difference, providing the support and healing they need to rebuild their lives."

CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding added, "Violent acts against women don’t end with visits to the emergency room. They are a major public health problem that we are committed to preventing. Intimate partner violence costs women and their families a high-price financially, physically and emotionally. We must continue to do all we can to prevent the pain, anguish and health problems that result from intimate partner violence."

The CDC report estimates the incidence, prevalence and health-related costs of non-fatal and fatal Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) against women. IPV is defined as violence committed by a spouse, ex-spouse, current or former boyfriend or girlfriend.

According to the report, nearly 25% of surveyed women and 7.5% of surveyed men said they were raped and/or physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabiting partner, or date at some time in their lifetime. The survey found that women who were physically assaulted by an intimate partner averaged 6.9 physical assaults by the same partner, whereas men averaged 4.4 assaults.

Working to Prevent Violence Against Women
"CDC is actively involved in ongoing efforts to prevent violence against women," said Sue Binder, M.D., CDC Injury Center Director. "This report provides information that is crucial in helping communities demonstrate the impact violence against women has on society."

CDC researchers examined the data from the 1995 National Violence Against Women Survey for the incidents of IPV, the costs, how health care was used, and how much work-related time was lost for women who were assaulted by intimate partners. This report reflects the most current and reliable data that is available on IPV and its related health costs.

To help reduce IPV, CDC is currently:

  • Developing a guide to identify promising prevention programs and interventions for batterers.

     

  • Funding programs to support rape prevention and education efforts in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and eight territories, providing for education in communities about the extent of sexual assault and the development of programs to prevent it.

     

  • Funding 14 state Domestic Violence Coalitions to develop and implement community coordinated responses. This initiative coordinates services and mobilizes communities to respond to and prevent domestic violence.

     

  • Funding projects to help monitor and track intimate partner violence in five states. The goal is to help reduce IPV through the collection of timely and credible data that are useful for planning, implementing and evaluating prevention programs.

    The full report -- Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States -- is available online at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/pub-res/ipv_cost/ipv.htm.

    For more information on intimate partner violence visit the CDC’s website at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc.

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