As I was recently on a plane to New York from Florida, I picked up a magazine someone had left behind and read one of the articles about the NFL player, Ray Rice, and the surprising New Jersey court dismissal of his Domestic Violence case.
The dismissal was hardly a blip in the news in late May 2015. With so much media and social media surrounding the blatant and literal “knock-out” of his then fiancée (now wife), the dismissal was surprising to many, especially the victims of domestic violence.
I began to contemplate what the overall impact is to our society and how we address this historically taboo subject.
In addition to the obvious humanistic and psychological impact on the victims, there is also an enormous economic impact on society from domestic violence. One quarter of employed women report that domestic violence has affected their work performance.
Further, approximately eight million days of paid work are lost. It is estimated that the combination of higher medical costs ($5.8 billion) and lost productivity ($2.5 billion) equate to over $8 billion in annual costs, according to the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.
Let’s examine the economic statistics further: Women are 40% of U.S. businesses, growing at twice the rate of US firms
, and as a whole contributing $4 trillion to the U.S. economy.
According to a report from the Center for American Progress, women’s contribution to GDP translates into $1.7 trillion in greater output.
Others have recognized the importance of women in our economic engine. Joseph Quinlan, the Chief Market Strategist for US Trust recently wrote “Women are the most underutilized and under-leveraged resource in the world …. Women now represent one of the most powerful economic cohorts not only in the US, but in the world.”
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and in that vein, I believe we need to help bring awareness throughout our communities and more specifically in our judicial system, by setting clear, zero-tolerance examples, regardless of celebrity status, within our court systems. Violence is wrong and must be prosecuted accordingly. Not only are the direct victims impacted, but also family members, taxpayers, the economy, and the smallest and most vulnerable – the children.
Domestic violence is a serious national, societal, and economic issue and everyone has a role in eradicating it. Even with the number of victims annually, society has not recognized domestic violence as a national and economic tragedy.
Often witnesses are afraid to speak up or get involved, but it is our duty to make a difference and help someone in need.
Be a part of the solution.
Your time, money, items, or professional services.
Women In Distress of Broward County, Inc.
24-Hour Crisis Line: (954) 761-1133
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
24-Hour Help Line: 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)
Kathleen A. Grace, CFP®, CIMA® is a Managing Director at United Capital and Amazon Best-Selling Author of Prince Not So Charming, a financial planning novel.
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