A study released by the US Centers for Disease Control in October 2005 found that health care costs associated with each incident of domestic violence were $948 in cases where women were the victims and $387 in cases where men were the victims. The study also found that domestic violence against women results in more emergency room visits and inpatient hospitalizations, including greater use of physician services than domestic violence where men are the victims.
CDC researchers determined healthcare costs by looking at mental health services; the use of medical services such as emergency departments, inpatient hospitals, and physician services; and losses in productivity such as time off from work, childcare or household duties because of injuries. The average medical cost for women victimized by physical domestic violence was $483 compared to $83 for men; mental health services costs for women was $207 compared to $80 for men; while productivity losses were similar at $257 for women and $224 for men.
Many Colorado doctors do not report their patients' domestic violence-related injuries to police officers, as is required by law in that state. In a study released in the January 2003 issue of the Annals of Emergency Medicine, only four in 10 doctors said they always reported such injuries.
In the study, nearly all (92%) of the 684 doctors surveyed knew that doctors in Colorado are required to immediately notify police if they treat any injuries that resulted from domestic assault or any other crime. But less than half (41%) of the doctors that responded to the question said they always followed that law, study findings indicate. In the same study, 30% of primary care doctors said they always reported domestic violence-related injuries in comparison to 61% of doctors specializing in emergency medicine.
In general, doctors who had received some form of education about the mandatory reporting law, as many did, were more likely to be familiar with the law and were more likely to report domestic violence-related injuries than their less educated peers.
(SOURCE: Annals of Emergency Medicine 2003;41:159)
Women who are victims of physical or sexual domestic violence visit their doctors more often than other women. Researchers examined medical records from 1997 to 2002 of several groups of adult female patients of Group Health Cooperative (GHC), an HMO in Seattle. The study found the domestic violence victims averaged more than 17 doctor visits a year, compared to an average of 10 visits for one comparison group, and an average of six visits for another.
The study also found that 27 percent of the domestic violence victims had more than 20 doctor visits a year. Annual health-care costs were significantly higher for the women who were victims of domestic violence. Their health-care costs averaged more than $5,000 per year, compared to about $3,400 for those in the second group and $2,400 for those in the third group.
(Source: January 2003 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.)
A study published in 2002 in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that abused women experience a 50% to 70% increase in gynecological, neurological and stress-related problems either as after effects of the abuse or as the result of the high level of stress that the abuse caused. These problems were long-term, affecting women even after the relationship was over.
(May 27, 2002, vol. 162, issue 10, Archives of Internal Medicine)
Psychological violence coming from an intimate partner can inflict health consequences as serious as physical or sexual violence, according to a study released by the University of Texas at Houston School of Public Health in the November 2002 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Women and men subjected to abuses of power and control, even if not accompanied by physical or sexual abuse, were more likely to develop physical or mental illnesses or engage in substance abuse than people not abused, the study found.
Violence is cited as a pregnancy complication more often than diabetes, hypertension, or any other serious complication.
("Battering and Pregnancy," Midwifery Today, 19:1998)
Females accounted for 39% of the hospital emergency department visits for violence-related injuries in 1994 but 84% of the persons treated for injuries inflicted by intimates.
(Violence by Intimates: Analysis of Data on Crimes by Current or Former Spouses, Boyfriends, and Girlfriends, U.S. Department of Justice, March, 1998)
Thirty-seven percent of all women who sought care in hospital emergency rooms for violence-related injuries in 1994 were injured by a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend.
(R. Bachman and L.E. Saltzman, Violence Against Women: Estimates from the Redesigned Survey. Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1995)
In a 1992 study of 691 black, Hispanic, and white pregnant women in public health clinics in Houston, TX, and Baltimore, MD, one in six women reported physical abuse. Participants were invited into the study at the first prenatal visit and were followed up until delivery.
(McFarlane, Parker, Soeken, & Bullock, "Assessing for abuse during pregnancy," Journal of the American Medical Association 267, no. 23 (1992): 3176-3178)
Battered women seek medical attention for injuries sustained as a consequence of domestic violence significantly more often after separation than during cohabitation; about 75% of the visits to emergency rooms by battered women occur after separation.
(Stark and Flitcraft, 1988)
Female victims of intimate partner violence are more likely than victims of strangers to experience injuries and to require medical treatment.
(Bureau of Justice Statistics, Female Victims of Violent Crime, NCJ 1626021996)