Local News

Study: Cost of domestic violence in NC tops $300M

Posted October 23, 2014 10:05 p.m. EDT
Updated October 23, 2014 10:33 p.m. EDT

— From health care for victims to incarceration of suspects, the cost of domestic violence in North Carolina hits $307 million a year, according to a study released Thursday.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, is the first of its kind in the state to quantify the costs of domestic violence.

Commissioned by the Jamie Kimble Foundation for Courage, a nonprofit that created the eNOugh Campaign to end domestic violence, the study examines seven factors to arrive at the total cost:

  • Loss of life from homicide - $42.8 million
  • Loss of work productivity - $8.9 million
  • Physical health care - $123.9 million
  • Mental health care - $57.1 million
  • Lost property - $7.1 million
  • Police costs - $4.4 million
  • Court costs - $38.7 million
  • Incarceration - $24.9 million

The study does not account for the costs of sheltering victims of domestic violence.

“We want the public to know how important it is to take steps to change the culture of abuse, Jill Dinwiddie, board member of the Jamie Kimble Foundation and co-creator of the eNOugh Campaign, said in a statement. “Addressing this problem on the front end is essential, and the only way to convince public and private funders of this is to make public what is currently being spent.”

One in four women in the United States is a victim of domestic violence, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Charlotte, the state’s largest city, police received more than 36,000 domestic violence calls last year.

“Our study illustrates the range of impacts – both private and public – as well as the prevalence of domestic violence in North Carolina,” said UNC-Charlotte economics professor Stephen Billings, who co-chaired the study with Jennifer Troyer.

The study was underwritten by Wells Fargo.