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Medical Care Costs of Intrafamily Assault and Homicide

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1986
6 pages
Estimation of the costs of homicides committed by family members of the victim, as well as costs of injuries from domestic violence, are made using data from surveys of spouse abuse in Kentucky and Texas.
Data gathered on 3,003 female victims indicate that each year between 1 and 4.4 percent of married women receive injuries severe enough to requiremedical attention. Although comparable studies do not exist for child abuse, spouse abuse figurers lead to a reasonable estimate of 2.7 percent as the proportion of children requiring medical attention as a result of domestic violence.Applying all these numbers to the total population suggests that the annual number of medical visits resulting from domestic violence is 1,453,437 for women; 479,634 for men; and 1,695,897 for children. Thus, more than 3.6 million people each year will require medical attention as a result of domestic violence. The Kentucky data also suggest that intrafamily violence requires 1,234,000 office visits; 2,141,000 emergency room visits; and 254,000 hospital admissions lasting a day or more. Another 4,408 family members die each year from family violence. Additional costs to be considered in the total are those of police and social services, legal costs, and crimes committed later by children from violent homes as well as the costs their subsequent imprisonment.

Date Published: January 1, 1986