The Cost of Domestic Abuse

These numbers don’t lie! According to a long-term scientific study of over 3,000 women, women experiencing physical abuse from intimate partners spent 42 percent more on health care per year than non-abused women.

The study also revealed that the cost doesn’t end when the abuse does. The study showed that women who experienced abuse for five or more years, continued to spend 19% more on health care per year than women who were not abused.

Now remember — this study only encompassed physical abuse and didn’t even look into verbal and emotional abuse, which are just as deadly.

Even more important is to grasp that these numbers represent real women living in chronic illness and pain due to domestic abuse. These are lives damaged by an growing epidemic, which is just as real inside the church as outside it.

And to the physical pain of these women is added the financial strain. If they have gotten out of abuse, it is highly likely that their financial circumstances are constrained – and they are having all these medical costs on top of their financial strain and physical pain. The physical problems may also have a concrete impact on their ability to provide for their financial needs!

This is a large, complex problem which is daily reality for many women! It’s more than just an interesting statistic and an insurance issue.

Church Responses to Domestic Violence Awareness Month

This October is the22nd Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and candlelight vigils are being held throughout the month to remember victims of domestic abuse.

Several church groups are actively participating, both in activities during Domestic Violence Awareness month and in domestic violence intervention throughout the year. The linked article gives a brief look at some and I will be looking in more depth at some as well as the month progresses.

Domestic Abuser Database

While there is no way to know to be completely sure if someone you are dating or interested in may have a history as an abuser, there is a website which is compiling a list of known offenders. This list is of individuals who have had a legal restraining order or protective order served against them.

This is not completely fool proof, of course, but it is certainly a lot better than no information at all. I would also encourage anyone who reads this and knows of offenders who should be added to the list to add them! Remember, however, this list is for legally documented offenders only. I know many abusers never are legally found guilty, but without legal documentation, adding someone to such a list becomes legally libelous.