The Costs of Violence Against Women
Violence against women
takes an enormous toll, not only on the women who experience it, but on
the children who witness it, and the societies that must bear the
- The health implications for
victims are immense. These can be long-term physical disabilities as
well as psychological trauma. They can also be isolation and
depression due to the stigma of victimization.
- Costs to victims include missed opportunities. Girls miss school; women miss work; time and energy are diverted from the pursuit of economic and personal well-being.
bear the burden as well. Their lives are disrupted when their female
caregivers are hurt or killed. As witnesses to violence perpetrated
against mothers, daughters, and sisters, many are thought to suffer
long-term stress and disability. Moreover, boys and men who witness
abuse are more likely to be perpetrators themselves.
- Finally, society suffers
– not only in terms of the social and moral fabric of life, but also in
economic terms. The World Health Organization estimates that some
countries end up spending up to 4% of GDP on violence-related
expenditures, a significant sum for developing and wealthy countries
alike. This is money that is not being invested in health care,
education, and economic growth.
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