Domestic Violence Costs California About $73 Billion Annually, Study Finds

Domestic Violence Costs California About $73 Billion Annually, Study Finds

Women hold signs referencing action against domestic violence during the International Women's Day march in Sydney, Australia, on March 7, 2020. (Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

Sophie Li
Sophie Li


Updated: 6/13/2024


A new study has revealed the immense economic toll of domestic violence in California, highlighting billions of dollars in costs that significantly burden survivors and taxpayers throughout the state.
The study by Tulane University’s Newcomb Institute and the School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California–San Diego found that domestic violence cost the state $73.7 billion in 2022. These costs—about $88,000 per victim—included health care payments, lost productivity and income, and expenses related to criminal justice and response programs, the report said.
“Too often, states do not recognize the economic as well as social and health costs resulting from intimate partner violence for survivors, families of victims and the state as a whole,” said Anita Raj, executive director of the Newcomb Institute and lead author of the report, in a June 4 press release.
More than 60 percent of the $73.7 billion is attributed to medical costs, with most spent on treating physical assaults. Criminal justice costs amounted to $13 billion, as did lost earnings for deceased victims, victim recovery time, and offenders sentenced to jail time. On top of that, nearly $158 million was spent on response programs.
“These costs show the economic case for increased investment in prevention programs and reforms to effectively respond to domestic violence,” said Ms. Raj, a former UC San Diego professor of medicine and education studies.
The financial burden amounts to nearly a quarter of the state’s annual budget and, according to the report, comes close to the $80 billion spent on K–12 education.
The report also reveals that one in 30 women—more than 460,000—in the Golden State experienced physical or sexual violence from a partner in 2022. The study did not include data or surveys on men experiencing similar violence.
Jakana Thomas, a professor of political science at the School of Global Policy and Strategy and co-author of the report, said domestic violence is linked to other crises the state is facing, such as homelessness.
“Women who experienced intimate partner violence in the past year are more likely to be contending with depression, anxiety, and suicidality, and they are also more likely to have faced recent eviction,” Ms. Thomas said in the press release. “Preventing this violence has to be prioritized if we are going to address the mental health and homelessness crises in this state.”
Sophie Li
Sophie Li

Sophie Li is a Southern California-based reporter covering local daily news, state policies, and breaking news for The Epoch Times. Besides writing, she is also passionate about reading, photography, and tennis.

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