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Violence against women costs Tennessee $886 million

According to a study conducted by the Tennessee Economic Council on Women, Tennessee is ranked number three in the country when it comes to domestic violence homicides. In addition to the human tragedies that are occurring, the violence also impacts the state economically to the tune of about $866 million per year. In 2012, Tennessee spent or lost that amount of money due to such things as health care payments and lost wages. Additionally, operational spending in the Department of Children's Services was impacted by crimes committed against women.

While some of these crimes are committed against men, it is shocking that 80 percent involve women and girls, amounting to more than 82,000 annual incidents in Tennessee. In addition to the physical abuse, crimes like this result in dependency and isolation as well as other factors that hinder personal development.

The research conducted found four themes that emerged in connection with domestic violence. First was that these crimes affect the entire community, not just the family. Second, a modern form of slavery is being forced on unwilling victims in the form of prostitution, with traffickers not caring at all about their victim's age. Third, crimes committed against women are compounded by the likelihood that children will face similar fates. Fourth, very few prevention efforts exist that could turn these findings around and help to develop healthy relationships in future families.

Domestic violence of any kind is against the law and should not be tolerated, especially against women and children. Anyone who is dealing with physical or emotional abuse or who has concerns about the safety of their children should immediately seek out help. Several tools are available to stop these types of crimes, including restraining orders and other orders of protection.

Source: Crossville Chronicle, "Violence against women costs Tennessee $886M", December 16, 2013

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