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Intimate partner violence affects entire societies.  A 2011 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fact sheet on intimate partner violence puts the cost at more than $8 billion. This includes the cost of medical care, mental health services, lost productivity from paid work, and the inability to perform household work. Health-care costs, resulting from injuries, account for about two-thirds of this total. The health-care services included:

Emergency room visits
Hospitalizations
Outpatient clinic visits
Treatment by physicians, dentists, physical therapists, and mental health professionals
Ambulance transport
Paramedic assistance

In this section, we take a closer look at how domestic violence affects women and children.

Domestic Violence Effects on Abused Women

According to a 2007 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention injury report, about 2,340 American women lose their lives each year at the hands of intimate partners. An estimated 28 percent of women will be abused by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. The longer the abuse goes on, the more serious the effects on the victim. Some physical injuries sustained during these attacks result in long-term, even permanent, disabilities. Because the abuse comes at the hands of someone they may love and trust, the emotional wounds can last even longer than the physical damage. Many women who have been
abused have problems creating healthy relationships in the future. They may have issues with self-esteem which are only deepened by being abused. Anger and stress among abused persons are common. Some develop eating disorders and depression. Others even consider or attempt suicide.

Victims also are more likely to smoke, abuse alcohol, use drugs, and engage in risky sexual activity, putting them at additional risks for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. A study by Johns Hopkins found that women who have been battered are at an increased risk for: 
Arthritis, Asthma, Binge drinking, Child neglect, Self-neglect, Depression, Eating disorders, Miscarriage, Panic attacks, Self-mutilation, Sexually transmitted diseases, Sleep disorders, Smoking, and Stroke .  

This tragedy is preventable. Women with healthy self-esteem are less likely to become involved in domestic violence relationships. Whether she is a wife, someone's mother, a daughter, a sister, a much-loved friend, or a complete stranger, this woman needs to know that she is a Woman of Worth. God did not make her to be punched, belittled, threatened, terrorized, or shamed.

Domestic Violence Effects on Children

As many as 10 million children in the United States witness abuse in their homes. Some studies have shown that as many as 75 percent of children raised in abusive homes are also being abused. Many of these children grow up to become abusers themselves. The recent case of singer Chris Brown demonstrates this inter generational tragedy. During an argument, the 19-year-old singer severely battered his 21-year-old girlfriend Rihanna, causing injuries to her described as "horrific." Less than a year earlier, Brown had told a young television audience about growing up in a Christian home in which he watched his mother being battered repeatedly by his stepfather. As a child, he was so frightened by these attacks that he frequently wet the bed. Asked how he coped as a child, he said he hid under his bed with his Bible and prayed for the attacks to end. Sadly, only a few years later, he's now best known for the violence he perpetrated against another woman. He's not alone. Parents who are battered often become depressed, feel undeserving of better treatment, and become emotionally withdrawn from their children. Deprived of the security of their mother's protection, some of these children find it difficult to form loving, nonviolent relationships as they grow older.

Studies tell us that the effects of domestic violence on children are wide-ranging and long-lasting. They may include:

Aggression
Behavioral problems, including violence
Depression
Fear
Guilt
Heightened fear of losing their parents
Insomnia
Isolation
Loss of confidence
Low self-esteem
Nightmares
No empathy for others
Phobias
Poor social skills
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Revenge seeking
Suicidal tendencies
Truancy and problems in school

As adults, they are more likely to abuse alcohol, engage in criminal activity, abuse substances, or become abusers themselves. Even infants suffer from domestic violence–related effects. Our children deserve better. When we prevent domestic violence, we break the domestic violence cycle, and all that goes with it, in children's lives as well.

Domestic Violence Effects on the Workplace

According to a 2005 injury report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American women lose about 8 million days of paid work each year because of violence perpetrated against them by their intimate partners. This is the equivalent of 32,114 full-time jobs each year. A 2007 study by the Liz Claiborne Foundation found that most corporate executives recognized harmful domestic violence effects on 

Employee attendance (70%)
Employee productivity (55%)
Insurance and medical costs (61%)
Employee turnover (45%)


Not surprisingly, the percentage of employees who saw harmful domestic violence effects was higher in each of these categories. To see all the results of the study on the effects of domestic violence in the workplace, visit www.loveisnotabuse.com/surveyresults. 

Effects of Domestic Violence