Study estimates annual cost of domestic violence in N.C. at $504 million

Posted at 12:59 PM on Oct 2, 2019


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CHARLOTTE – A new study estimates that domestic violence in North Carolina cost the state more than $500 million in 2018, sparking a call to stop the violence from the head of a foundation who speaks from painful experience.

Based on the report, it costs the state on average $5,543 each time a domestic violence incident is reported to authorities.

Findings are based on the number of domestic violence victims determined by calls to 911 or other N.C. authorities – 164,532. In addition, experts estimate that a third of domestic violence incidents go unreported.

The report was sponsored by the Jamie Kimble Foundation for Courage and co-funded by a grant from the NFL Foundation. The report will be available online at

The release of the report comes at the start of October – Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four women and one in seven men will experience severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

“How many more women and men need to suffer at the hands of an intimate partner for us to do more?” said Ron Kimble, whose daughter, Jamie, 31, was murdered by an ex-boyfriend in 2012.

Kimble and his wife Jan established the Jamie Kimble Foundation for Courage to address domestic violence.

“The prevention of the next victim is our foremost priority. The stunning cost of domestic violence to health care, law enforcement, courts, businesses and shelters should move us to realize it’s in our best interests to do more, especially with our youth, before the next victim cries out for help.”

The Foundation is calling on officials, employers, schools and nonprofits to step up prevention, education, awareness, and research to identify trends, act, and measure efforts to curb domestic violence.

The report by UNC Charlotte economics professor Craig Depken II measures the economic impact statewide – $503,834,790. It also breaks down the figure county by county. Among North Carolina’s 100 counties, the greatest economic impact is felt in Mecklenburg – $49,713,431.

The Financial Cost of Domestic Violence in Iredell
Estimated Cost Iredell County (2018)
Loss of life $977,565
Loss of work $1.49 million
Physical healthcare $2.4 million
Mental health care $1.1 million
Incarceration $490,000
Total Cost $7.99 million

Source: Jamie Kimble Foundation for Courage

The largest single cost statewide is physical health care – $139,523,204. That is followed by lost-work productivity – $87,019,201. On average, victims of domestic violence missed 7.2 days of work a year.

Most poignant is the cost associated with loss of life – $57,616,307. This measures the expected lost earnings that homicide victims would have otherwise earned and contributed to society had they reached their full life expectancy.

The study considers economic impact in loss of life; lost work productivity; physical health care costs; mental health care costs; cost from loss of property; policing cost; court costs; incarceration costs; cost of programs, shelters and centers; and cost of volunteer hours. The report includes how the cost was determined in each area.

Ron and Jan Kimble hope these findings can help keep other families from having to experience heartbreak.

“The mission of the Jamie Kimble Foundation for Courage is to stop domestic violence and dating violence before it begins,” Jan Kimble said. “By working with our youth and young adults while simultaneously assisting current victims, we can and will reduce the spread of this menace in our society.”

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