Canada - Cost of violence against women estimated at $4.2 billion per year


The Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children made public

this weekend, at a Canada-U.S. Women's Health Forum, "Selected Estimates of

the Costs of Violence Against Women," a study produced by Lorraine Greaves,

Olena Hankivsky and Jo-Ann Kingston-Riechers. Here is the Executive



The costs of violence against Canadian women are enormous, not only in

monetary terms, but in the personal costs to well-being, self-esteem and

safety. This paper estimates selected economic costs of three forms of

violence against women -- sexual assault/rape; woman abuse in intimate

partnerships and incest/child sexual assault -- in four policy areas:

health/medicine; criminal justice; social services/education and



Drawing on a variety of methods, including extrapolation from survey

samples of Canadian women, government statistics, case studies and

examination of reports from other jurisdictions, this report distinguishes

between state, personal and third-party costs of violence against women.


The results show the profound effect violence has, not only on the lives of

Canadian women, but also on governments, institutions and businesses. And

yet, because the data in all policy areas are incomplete, and in some cases

non-existent, the report captures only partial estimates of the economic

costs of violence against women.


These partial estimated annual costs of violence against women in four

policy areas are:


Social services/education: $2,368,924,297;

Criminal justice: $871,908,583;

Labour/employment: $576,764,400;

Health/medical: $408,357,042

For a total selected estimates of costs of $4,225,954,322.


***These costs are divided among the state 87.5 per cent, the individual,

11.5 per cent and third parties, .9 per cent.***


While putting a dollar value on violence against women represents only one

dimension of a very complex social problem, such analysis can be a useful

tool for understanding the economic results of both violence and the

responses to violence against women. However, these selected estimates

presented in this paper should not be analyzed without acknowledging the

human and social costs linked to such calculations. While estimated costs

of violence may be represented numerically, many aspects of violence

against women, such as emotional suffering, deterioration of the quality of

or loss of life cannot be quantified. Further research is clearly required

to support comprehensive, effective policy and program developments in

response to violence against women in Canada.




To order the full document, e-mail the Centre for Research on Violence

Against Women and Children at Phone: (519)




Return to Main Menu