This estimated cost of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) briefing represents an extrapolation of findings published in a report titled ‘Estimating the cost of gender-based violence in the European Union’, prepared by Professor Sylvia Walby OBE and Dr Philippa Olive from Lancaster University.
The authors of the report highlight how the “analysis of the economic costs of violence enables its wider impact on economy and society to become more visible” (2014: p.123), as such, the estimated cost addresses three key areas:
The spending on specialised services to mitigate the harms and prevent the repetition of the violence is 3% of the cost of intimate partner violence against women. Specialist services, as discussed in Section 8.1, are immensely beneficial to women. The cost of specialised services is very small relative to the cost to economy and society. The loss to the economy, through lost output as a result of injuries, is around 12%. Services, especially criminal justice, make up around 30% of the cost of the violence. Just under half the cost is a result of the public estimation of the value placed on the physical and emotional impact that the violence causes. The proportion of the expenditure on this violence that is linked to focused attempts at mitigation and prevention is currently small.
The conclusion drawn here is that gender-based and intimate partner violence places large costs on economy and society. It is likely that an increase in the currently small amount spent on prevention and mitigation of harms, by increasing spending on specialised services, would lead to a decrease in the extent and impact of the violence.