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Estimating the costs of gender-based violence in the European Union

Auteur : Millennia2025

Source : EIGE



 EU Gender-based violence

Estimating the costs of gender-based violence in the European Union

European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE)


Executive summary



The purpose of the study is to identify and recom-mend appropriate methodologies to measure the cost of gender-based and intimate partner violence in EU-28 Member States. To define gender-based and intimate partner violence for this study we draw on the defini-tions advanced by the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (UN 1993) and Council of Eu-rope (2011) respectively. These authorities focus on the forms of violence, violence perpetrated by intimate part-ners and other family members (domestic violence) and sexual violence that are disproportionality perpetrated against and disproportionality impact women.




This study identified and reviewed the studies that cost gender-based and intimate partner violence that have been conducted in the EU and comparable countries in the OECD. We conducted a wide search of the literature on costing gender-based and intimate partner violence and on similar damage, narrowing this down to a set of ten studies for in-depth review.


The initial review identified three main types of costs: lost economic output, provision of services, including health, legal, social and specialised; and the personal (physical and emotional) impact on the victim. The re-port is structured around these types of costs, providing accounts of our investigations into the methodologies in each of these fields found in the relevant literature. Following an analysis of the feasibility of methodologies with respect to the availability of data sources, recom-mended methods are illustrated in a case study centred on the UK. In this case study we extend the analysis of impact and cost to include gender-based and intimate partner violence against men. Although this represents a minority of these forms of violence perpetrated, the rationale for this inclusion is two-fold, first it is to incor-porate the important practice of gender disaggregation of all data, and second it is relevant to understanding the policy field in some countries.

Lost Economic Output


All ten reviewed studies produced estimates of the cost of lost economic output due to intimate partner violence. Most studies focused on the effects of physi-cal violence, reporting its effects on lost earnings and absence from work. There were three main methodo-logical approaches to costing lost economic output: survey-data based; administrative-data based; and purpose-built modelling. Seven studies used survey-based methods using respondents' responses to the survey, covering work absences and/or days of incapac-ity to undertake normal activities, and lost wages to the worker as well as costs to the employer. Two stud-ies relied primarily on administrative sources of data for impact and cost, one of which suffered from significant underestimation of economic cost as a result. Two stud-ies used methods that drew on parallel studies of lost economic output due to the incapacitation of workers for other reasons. Across the methodologies employed, some were more robustly underpinned, and had bet-ter replicability and feasibility because the requirements for data were lesser and the data required more com-monly available. An example of this was the utilisation of an already-established economic model developed in a parallel policy field: economic output losses from injuries sustained in road traffic accidents, differentiated by injury level. Advancing the field into estimating the lost economic output of unpaid (household) work, one of the studies had developed a method for estimating the cost of unpaid (household) work because of inti-mate partner violence-related mental health impact.  There have been methodological advancements not previously employed and, whilst still developmental and thus limited, it is possible to better estimate the cost of lost economic output from productivity losses. However, calculating these costs is more complex than presented and better methods are needed so that they can be more effectively included in future estimates.


Health Services


The cost of health service utilisation for the urgent treatment of injuries sustained during an assault by a partner has been approached in five different ways. First, victims' self-reporting of service utilisation to rep-resentative surveys. Second, victims' self-reporting of injuries sustained to representative surveys modelled in combination with accident insurance data. Third, vic-tims' reporting of injuries and acts of violence sustained to a national representative survey modelled through statistical methods predicting the likely course of treat-ment for specific injuries and their cost. Fourth, service utilisation established from administrative data employ-ing diagnostic groups based on classifications of vio-lence against the person. Fifth, service utilisation scaled from research reporting the prevalence and nature of intimate partner violence assault injuries in accident and emergency department populations.

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  Millennia2025 Woment and Innovation Foundation  

Millennia2025 Women and Innovation Foundation, Public Utility Foundation
in Special consultative status with
the United Nations ECOSOC since 2019 


Fondation Millennia2025 Femmes et Innovation, Fondation d'utilité publique
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in Special consultative status with
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en statut consultatif spécial auprès de l'ECOSOC
des Nations Unies depuis 2012




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