Lifetime Economic Burden of Intimate Partner Violence Among U.S. Adults

Cora Peterson, Megan C. Kearns, Wendy Li Kam Wa McIntosh, Lianne Fuino Estefan, Christina Nicolaidis, Kathryn E. McCollister, Amy Gordon, Curtis Florence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

158 Scopus citations


Introduction: This study estimated the U.S. lifetime per-victim cost and economic burden of intimate partner violence. Methods: Data from previous studies were combined with 2012 U.S. National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey data in a mathematical model. Intimate partner violence was defined as contact sexual violence, physical violence, or stalking victimization with related impact (e.g., missed work days). Costs included attributable impaired health, lost productivity, and criminal justice costs from the societal perspective. Mean age at first victimization was assessed as 25 years. Future costs were discounted by 3%. The main outcome measures were the mean per-victim (female and male) and total population (or economic burden) lifetime cost of intimate partner violence. Secondary outcome measures were marginal outcome probabilities among victims (e.g., anxiety disorder) and associated costs. Analysis was conducted in 2017. Results: The estimated intimate partner violence lifetime cost was $103,767 per female victim and $23,414 per male victim, or a population economic burden of nearly $3.6 trillion (2014 US$) over victims’ lifetimes, based on 43 million U.S. adults with victimization history. This estimate included $2.1 trillion (59% of total) in medical costs, $1.3 trillion (37%) in lost productivity among victims and perpetrators, $73 billion (2%) in criminal justice activities, and $62 billion (2%) in other costs, including victim property loss or damage. Government sources pay an estimated $1.3 trillion (37%) of the lifetime economic burden. Conclusions: Preventing intimate partner violence is possible and could avoid substantial costs. These findings can inform the potential benefit of prioritizing prevention, as well as evaluation of implemented prevention strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-444
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican journal of preventive medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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