Just because a woman leaves an abusive relationship doesn’t mean that the effects of that experience end — emotionally or economically. Research by University of British Columbia Nursing Prof. Colleen Varcoe shows that after a woman leaves, the annual cost for health, legal and social services in Canada is $13,162 a year for each woman, according to this overview in MedicalNewsToday.com.
Some surprising and dramatic costs include:
- food banks, which amounted to 80 percent of the non-health, private, third-party costs provided by charitable organizations
- the 24 emergency room visits per month by women who’ve left abusive partners, compared with one ER visit per month by women who haven’t been in abusive relationships. (In Canada, one ER visit costs $180, significantly lower than a visit to a U.S. emergency room.)
- 1.9 visits to a physician per month compared with the normal 0.37 visits per month.
“What our findings make clear is that ‘leaving’ is not a panacea,” says Varcoe, stressing that leaving decreases, but does not end the cost of violence to the system.
“In pointing out the economics of violence,” adds Varcoe, “we are also showing the human costs which are incalculable. As a society, we must do a better job of prevention, early detection and support for women at risk to violence.”
The post in MedicalNewsToday.com has more details and is worth checking out. The research appeared in the September issue of Canadian Public Policy.