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The economic burden of intimate partner violence (IPV) in Ecuador: setting the agenda for future research and violence prevention policies
  1. M I Roldos*,
  2. P Corso
  1. Correspondence University of Georgia, 1271 Sanden Ferry Drive, Decatur, GA 30033, USA

Abstract

Cost-of-illness (COI) analyses quantify the (direct) medical and non-medical expenditures associated with intimate partner violence (IPV) injuries and the (indirect) value of lost productivity. This study is the first COI for IPV in Ecuador. We used the only population-based survey of violence, public databases from the Ministries of Health, State and Finance, data from the National Institute of Statistics and Census and non-for profit databases to estimate medical and out-of-pocket health expenditures, legal and community responses and paid and unpaid work losses. The results suggest that for 255 267 IPV victims in 2004 the total costs were $181 990 852 (US$). Lost productivity accounted for $137 988 425 million; the marginal increase of cost to treat an IPV injury plus victims out-pocket health expenses was $42 554 768 million. Finally, legal services was an additional $1 447 659 million. Although substantial, these results significantly underestimate the real costs of IPV. Limitations to Ecuadors COI estimation are as follows: (1) Less than 3% of IPV victims seek any help after an episode of violence, (2) No data exist on the real costs of public health expenditures for IPV injuries, (3) Legal costs available represent staff salaries and (4) Prevalence data on IPV are only available for married women in their reproductive years. Despite these limitations, COI analyses are extremely useful as they highlight the economic impact of IPV on businesses, the government, and individuals.

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