Domestic violence is a public health and safety issue that is inevitably intertwined with issues of poverty, homelessness, unemployment, substance abuse, crime, human rights, gender equality, and child development.
Domestic Violence takes place in an intergenerational cycle of transmission–children of victims and batterers tend to exhibit high-risk behaviors that continue the violence into the next generation. By not addressing the public health ramifications of domestic violence, the cycle remains unbroken.
* Victims of DV experience physical injury, sometimes life threatening, as well as: PTSD; anxiety; chronic depression and pain; drug and alcohol dependence; panic attacks; eating disorders; poverty; malnutrition; repeated self-injury and neglect; suicide attempts; strained family relationships; and an inability to adequately respond to the needs of children.
* Research shows that children, who live with domestic violence, develop PTSD, depression, anxiety, violence, and cognitive problems. They are more likely to attempt suicide, run away from home, engage in teenage prostitution, and commit sexual assault crimes, and are at a greater risk of having serious adult health problems including tobacco use, substance abuse, obesity, cancer, heart disease, and a higher risk for unintended pregnancy.
* The costs of intimate partner violence exceed $5.8 billion each year, $4.1 billion of which is for direct medical and mental health care services, much of which is paid for by the employer. The annual cost of lost productivity due to domestic violence is estimated as $727.8 million, with over 7.9 million paid workdays lost each year.
* In 2007, the District Attorney’s Office of Santa Clara County reported 3,162 incidents of domestic violence in 2007, leaving 4 people dead and 6 children orphaned.