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Annual cost of violence pegged at $6.9 billion after women leave abusive partners, UBC research
Date:10/11/2011

y, 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."


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Contact: Lorraine Chan
lorraine.chan@ubc.ca
604-822-2644
University of British Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

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