Intimate partner violence is a silent epidemic in the United States. Every year, hundreds of thousands of women are physically or sexually assaulted. Domestic violence knows no class, race or geographic bounds.
The American business community is greatly affected by this issue, but due to a lack of understanding and the stigma often associated with such abuse, companies are unaware of the true cost.
Texas Health Resources created this online Domestic Violence Cost Calculator to assist companies in understanding the annual health benefit and productivity costs of intimate partner violence.
Developed using scientific and professional literature, the Domestic Violence Cost Calculator estimates the number of physical and sexual assaults expected to occur among an organization's female employees and calculates the related medical and absenteeism costs.
How to Use
To use the calculator, determine the three figures below for your company or organization:
- The total number of employees
- The percentage of employees that are female
- The company's average hourly wage
The Domestic Violence Cost Calculator takes these inputs and automatically calculates the health benefit costs, lost productivity costs and total cost.
Texas Health developed the Domestic Violence Cost Calculator using information from literature published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Academy of Sciences, and researchers Murray Straus and Richard Gelles. Utilizing a victimization rate of 116 per 1,000 female employees, the calculator computes the total number of female employees expected to be assaulted and the number of times annually these women would be expected to be assaulted.
The calculator uses data from these same sources to compute the estimated costs of medical and mental health care adjusted to 2003 dollars. Productivity costs are calculated by inputting an organization's average hourly wage. The calculator uses an average of 8.09 workdays lost per year per victim, which is figured by averaging the days lost by physical assault and sexual assault victims.
It is important to understand that the final estimated costs – health benefit costs and lost productivity costs – are an underestimation of actual costs. There are several reasons for this:
- The figures do not include cases where males are the victim of domestic violence. The incidence and costs associated with male victims are not well documented.
- The figures are based on only the most extreme cases – physical and sexual assault. Less extreme abuse – mental, emotional and verbal – also result in excess medical care usage and absenteeism, but incidence and cost estimates from the literature are not readily available.
- The calculations do not include costs for non-absentee lost productivity – decreased productivity on the part of the victim (and/or co-workers) who are distracted physically, mentally or emotionally due to the abuse.