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Economic Impact of Violence Against Women in Tennessee

NCJ Number
William Arth
Date Published
October 2013
102 pages
This study, which was sponsored by the Tennessee Economic Council on Women, examines the economic impact of violence against women in Tennessee, with a focus on domestic violence, human sex trafficking, and sexual assault.
The study found that in 2012, Tennesseans spent or lost at least $886,171,950 as a result of domestic violence, human sex trafficking, and sexual assault. The majority of this expense involved tax dollars and health care payments; however, charity, lost wages, workplace expenses, and inefficiency played significant roles as well. In addition, although the Economic Council cannot provide an exact estimate, it appears that domestic and sexual violence committed against women likely influenced the needs of their children, who received a majority of the Department of Children's Services in 2012 operational spending. This totaled approximately $527.6 million. Domestic and sexual violence, whose victims are mostly women and girls (estimated 70-80 percent) and measuring in excess of 82,000 incidents annually in this State, causes not only physical injuries, but also psychological harm that can include lasting trauma, dependency, and isolation. This can undermine careers, education, and personal development. Recommendations for prevention and action pertain to education, recovery-oriented funding, control-oriented offender counseling, health care services, community awareness, rehabilitation from human trafficking, collaboration and best practices, and faith-based outreach. Data for this study were obtained through a mixed-method design with three components. One component consisted of testimony offered by local officials and experts at nine public hearings held throughout the State. A second component was a survey of sheriffs' offices, police departments, social service providers, clerks of courts, attorneys general, public defenders, legal service providers, and female survivors. The third component reviewed relevant academic literature and available crime data. 16 figures, 79 references, and appended 2013 Violence Against Women Hearing Series and a listing of victim resources