Studies have shown that annually two to four million individuals are victims of domestic violence in the United States. This includes sexual abuse, physical abuse to elderly individuals, child abuse, emotional abuse. Domestic violence does not discriminate. It can occur no matter the race, religion, social or economic status, sexual orientation or educational level. It affects everyone around you as well.
If a child grows up in a home where he or she witnesses abuse, studies have proven they have a higher propensity to grown up with mental health issues and be at risk for abusive relationships; whether they are the aggressors or the victims. They are taught, in a sense, this type of behavior is one that is acceptable. They are taught this is normal.
Unfortunately this has become a very prevalent part of society. Every nine seconds a woman is being abused. 80.8% of the offenders are male, and 19.2% are female.
The costs are more than just the victimization and the cost of prosecution. The cost to society and employers are phenomenal.
Studies have proven is a leading cause of homelessness in women and children from fleeing their abusive partners. Medical costs for treatment for injuries directly attributed to domestic violence exceed $44 million annually. While lifetime costs paid by society for injuries directly attributed to domestic violence victims are estimated at $96 billion.
Employers lose out in productivity loss at an average of long-term loss of $476 per victim for each physical assault. If a victim is murdered, the average loss is $610,000. If the victimization occurs at the work place, the employer can be held liable if the abuser comes to the work place and the employer did not take necessary precautions to protect the employee.
Every year, domestic violence results in an average of 21,000 hospitalizations; 99,800 treatment days; 28, 700 emergency room visits; 39, 000 medical office visits; and, medical costs exceeding over $5.8 billion.
The cost to the criminal justice system is immensely high. Half of the homicides to females are directly related to domestic violence. The cost to arrest, investigate and prosecute is high. This is one of the reasons the rate of plea bargaining, batterers intervention and special programs are so high. It alleviates the costs to the tax payers. As well, the paperwork and caseload to the attorneys.
Domestic violence is not an interpersonal issue. It is a society issue. We need to change the laws to prevent offenders from reoffending. Offenders like my abuser. We need to stop people like him and not allow him to victimize others and put a burden on society by costing society even more.