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Domestic violence costs much more than prevention services

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, victims of domestic violence are not the only ones the crime affects. A report from the CDC states that $727.8 million is lost each year due to domestic abuse in the form of absenteeism, sick leave and lost wages.

It is estimated that domestic violence is the reason for 20 percent of missed workdays by women. That statistic is provided by the Tennessee Economic Council on Women in a 2013 report. In addition, stalking and harassment at work cause productivity problems for 96 percent of domestic violence victims.

The report also states that Tennessee is out almost $50 million because of domestic violence cases that make their way through the state's legal system. That includes costs for probation, pretrial jail costs for offenders that are arrested, prison costs for those convicted of domestic violence murders, divorce costs, filing fees for domestic violence custody cases and processing fees for protection orders.

The costs associated with domestic violence do not stop there for people in Tennessee, either. Because 74 percent of domestic violence victims suffer harassment from their abuser, 20 percent of them end up losing their jobs. Health care costs take a toll too, with almost $33 million paid each year for about 642,000 visits for medical care because of injuries suffered from domestic violence.

The report states that even though these numbers may be surprising, what may be even more shocking is that Tennessee falls far behind the national average for spending on domestic violence prevention services. The authors of the report state, "The economic impact of domestic violence far outweighs the costs of prevention through increased funding for domestic violence service and prevention programs." Currently, the state spends 50 percent less than what is spent on average across the country.

Domestic violence is a serious problem; however, with the right prevention services in place, it may be possible to see a decrease in domestic violence incidents. If you find yourself in a domestic violence situation and want to consider your options, contact law enforcement to report the abuse and an experienced divorce attorney for guidance and advice.

Source:  dnj.com, "Domestic violence also poses cost to entire society" Michelle Willard, Jan. 18, 2014

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The Law Office of Michael K. Williamson in Clarksville, Tennessee, provides representation in both Tennessee and Kentucky, including the cities of Clarksville, Springfield, Dover, Dickson, Stewart, Pleasant View, Cumberland City, Ashland City, Nashville, Hopkinsville and Fort Campbell. We provide representation throughout the municipalities of Montgomery County, Robertson County, Stewart County, Houston County, Dickson County, Cheatham County, Humphreys County and Christian County, as well as middle Tennessee.

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