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Press Release

April 28, 2003
Contact: CDC Injury Media Relations:

CDC Reports the Health-Related Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women Exceeds $5.8 billion each year in the United States

The health-related costs of rape, physical assault, stalking, and homicide by intimate partners exceed $5.8 billion each year. Of this total, nearly $4.1 billion are for direct medical and mental health care services and productivity losses account for nearly $1.8 billion, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report is being released today in conjunction with the CDC Injury Center’s national conference, “Safety in Numbers.”

“Violence against women harms more than its direct victim. It also harms the children, the abuser and the entire health of all our families and communities. For the health of our country, it is critical that we stop this cycle now,” Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson stated. “Just last week, the Department hosted a meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women and shared the many Department programs that are making a profound difference, providing the support and healing they need to rebuild their lives.”

CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding added, “Violent acts against women don’t end with visits to the emergency room. They are a major public health problem that we are committed to preventing. Intimate partner violence costs women and their families a high-price financially, physically and emotionally. We must continue to do all we can to prevent the pain, anguish and health problems that result from intimate partner violence.”

The report estimates the incidence, prevalence and health-related costs of non-fatal and fatal Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) against women. It also identifies future research needs and highlights CDC priorities for IPV prevention research. IPV is defined as violence committed by a spouse, ex-spouse, current or former boyfriend or girlfriend.

“CDC is actively involved in ongoing efforts to prevent violence against women,” said Sue Binder, M.D., CDC Injury Center Director.“ This report provides information that is crucial in helping communities demonstrate the impact violence against women has on society.”

CDC researchers examined the data from the 1995 National Violence Against Women Survey for the incidents of IPV, the costs, how health care was used, and how much work-related time was lost for women who were assaulted by intimate partners. This report reflects the most current and reliable data that is available on IPV and its related health costs.

Because of the data limitations, the costs presented in the report likely underestimate the economic burden of IPV in the United States. The report points out that these cost figures are not comprehensive, excluding such important costs as those related to the legal and justice systems. Therefore, the costs should not be used for analyzing benefit-cost ratios for IPV prevention programs. However, the report may be useful in calculating the health-related cost savings from reducing IPV and associated injuries and for evaluating the impact of IPV on specific sub-sectors of the economy, such as consumption of medical resources.

To help reduce IPV, CDC is currently:

  • Developing a guide to identify promising prevention programs and interventions for batterers
  • Funding programs to support rape prevention and education efforts in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and eight territories, providing for education in communities about the extent of sexual assault and the development of programs to prevent it. 
  • Funding 14 state Domestic Violence Coalitions to develop and implement community coordinated responses. This initiative coordinates services and mobilizes communities to respond to and prevent domestic violence. 
  • Funding projects to help monitor and track intimate partner violence in five states. The goal is to help reduce IPV through the collection of timely and credible data that are useful for planning, implementing and evaluating prevention programs.

The full report on the Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States is available online at:

For more information on intimate partner violence visit the CDC’s website at:

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CDC protects people's health and safety by preventing and controlling diseases and injuries; enhances health decisions by providing credible information on critical health issues; and promotes healthy living through strong partnerships with local, national, and international organizations.


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This page last updated April 28, 2003

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