Tuesday, February 21, 2012

[EQ] Social and Economic Costs of Violence

Social and Economic Costs of Violence: Workshop Summary

Deepali M. Patel and Rachel M. Taylor, Rapporteurs; Forum on Global

Violence Prevention; Institute of Medicine

US National Academy of Sciences and the Department of Health and Human Services – 2012

Available online at: http://bit.ly/z9pi6x

“…….The costs of violence are borne by all segments of society, but their measurement and impact are difficult to quantify. Traditional approaches, consisting mostly of measuring the direct economic effects of healthcare utilization and productivity loss, vastly underestimate the additional social and developmental costs of both morbidity and mortality.

Beyond the measurable costs, violence causes pain and suffering, can lead to chronic trauma, affects child development, and can increase the risk of chronic health outcomes later in life
(Repetti et al., 2002). As well, violence affects communities and societies, leading to losses in business sectors, financial divestment, and increased burden on the healthcare and justice systems. Although some methodologies exist for estimating such social or indirect costs, many are confounded by uncertainties in definitions and lack of rigorous evidence of causative factors.

Nevertheless, even initial and crude estimates of both the cost of violence and the cost of prevention show the financial benefits of early intervention. In most cases, the cost of implementing successful preventive interventions is less than the cost to individuals and society of inaction.


To engage in multisectoral, multidirectional dialogue that explores crosscutting public health approaches to violence prevention. To that end, the workshop was designed to examine these approaches from multiple perspectives and at multiple levels of society. In particular, was focused on exploring the successes and challenges.


…….Three major reasons for accurately measuring costs:

1. To determine the true impact of violence beyond morbidity and mortality,

2. To place violence in the context of and make comparisons to other public health issues, and

3. To compare the cost of violence to the cost of preventing violence, and determine the cost-effectiveness of intervention programs…..”


1 Introduction

Part I: Workshop Overview

2 Approaches to Measurement and Costing Methodology

3 Challenges in Calculating Costs

4 Toward a Bigger Picture of the Costs of Violence

5 The Promise of Investing in Violence Prevention

Part II: Papers and Commentary from Workshop Speakers

6 Papers on Direct and Indirect Costs of Violence

The Costs of Interpersonal Violence—An International Review

Consequences of Elder Abuse: The Needs for Social Justice and Policy Implications

Costs of Firearm Violence: How You Measure Things Matters

The Contagion of Violence: The Extent, the Processes, and the Outcomes

How Persistent Fear and Anxiety Can Affect Young Children’s Learning, Behavior, and Health

7 Papers on Context and Place

Social Contexts and Violence

The Impact of War on Child Development and Mental Health: A Longitudinal Study of Risk and Resilience Among Former Child Soldiers in Sierra Leone

Intimate Partner Violence in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: High Costs to Households and Communities

Youth Violence in Kingston, Jamaica

8 Papers on Investing in Prevention

The Value of Prevention

Communities That Care: Bridging Science and Community

Practice to Prevent Adolescent Health and Behavior Problems Including Violence


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