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Cost of Domestic Violence to the Australian Economy: Part 1

NCJ Number
Date Published
90 pages
This study estimated the costs of domestic violence to the Australian economy for 2002-03.
The total annual cost of domestic violence in 2002-03 was estimated to be $8.1 billion. The most costly consequences of domestic violence were pain, suffering, and premature death, estimated to be $3.5 billion. These factors in turn impacted consumption costs due to lost household spending. The cost of lost production was $484 million; and the cost of services to and management of domestic violence cases came to $480 million. The largest cost burden ($4 billion) was borne by the victims of domestic violence. The next largest burden was on the general community ($1.2 billion). The total lifetime cost of domestic violence was estimated to be $224,470 per victim. Most of these costs were for the pain and suffering of the victim. The report advises that many of the estimates are based on limited data and parameters that allow best judgments. Suggestions are offered for future research regarding the costs of domestic violence. The estimates are based on data regarding the prevalence of domestic violence in Australia in 2002-03. Seven categories of costs were identified: pain, suffering, and premature death; health costs; production-related costs, consumption costs; second-generation costs, administrative costs, and transfer costs. Costs are allocated to the following groups who pay or receive transfer payments: the victim, perpetrator, children, friends and family, employer, Federal Government, State/Territory and local government, and the rest of the community/society (nongovernment). 51 tables, 13 figures, and 100 references