The Toll of Intimate Partner and Domestic Violence
Intimate partner violence not only affects the victim, but entire families and communities. The CDC reports that due to domestic or intimate partner violence, the average costs of healthcare for women is over twice the rate of men that have experienced domestic violence. These costs are attributed to the medical care required for battered women, the loss of wages or production at work, as well as increased costs when considering household and childcare duties. Total costs associated with intimate partner abuse exceeded $5.8 billion in 2003 with over $4 billion attributed to the mental health and medical care of victims of domestic violence.
Specialized training for law enforcement officers is available to help educate communities about the impact of intimate partner violence. These officers often have a degree in criminal justice and are trained to look for physical signs of abuse when confronting potential domestic violence situations in homes as well as understand the psychological tactics used by abusers that include coercion, intimidation, threats, harassment and isolation. Still, domestic and intimate partner violence remains one of the least reported crimes, yet continues to have a strong impact on the lives and wellbeing of its victims, families, friends and communities at large.
Domestic and intimate partner violence affects communities regardless of age, social or economic status, ethnicity or religion. Men and women can be victims of these crimes that impact both mental and physical health. As domestic and intimate partner violence remains a large factor in the economic impact within communities, more law enforcement agencies are encouraging officers to learn about this influence and how to best facilitate healthy interactions and provide services to victims.