Apr 16, 2024 - News

Domestic violence against women costs Louisiana $10B

Illustrated collage of a person’s silhouette with an ambulance and caution tape.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Domestic violence cost Louisiana more than $10 billion in 2022, according to a new report out Tuesday.

Why it matters: The figure is the first-ever in the state, and only the second nationwide, to put a tangible number on the cost of intimate partner violence against women, the report's co-author Anita Raj tells Axios New Orleans.

The big picture: It's not a good time to be a woman in Louisiana.

  • "Louisiana performed below average for all 12 indicators included in the U.S. Women Peace and Security Index and ranked worst overall on the justice dimension," the report says.
  • More than half the state's men believe women should stay at home, and Louisiana is home to high maternal mortality rates and high poverty rates among few legal protections for women, according to the report.

By the numbers: The $10.1 billion total cost of intimate partner violence combines estimated expenses for medical, lost earnings, criminal justice and survivor response programs.

  • Medical costs made up the biggest portion at $8.77 billion, the report says.
  • The smallest portion was survivor support at $15 million.

"Even I was like, really?" Raj says of when she saw the final cost estimate.

  • "It's about 3.5% of [Louisiana's] GDP," she says. "I hope people realize the cost of not doing [abuse] prevention is far greater than the cost of prevention."

Yes, but: The numbers don't include the intergenerational cost stemming from the 22% of adults who once saw their caretakers abused, Raj says.

Meanwhile: One in 16 of Louisiana adults reported experiencing intimate partner violence within the past year, according to a new edition of the Louisiana Violence Experiences survey also released Tuesday.

  • But less than one-fifth of adults experiencing any violence within the past year said they filed a police report, the report says.
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