The costs of interpersonal violence--an international review

Health Policy. 2005 Sep 8;73(3):303-15. doi: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2004.11.022. Epub 2005 Jan 6.


This article reviews evidence of the economic impact of interpersonal violence internationally. In the United States, estimates of the costs of interpersonal violence reach 3.3% of GDP. The public sector-and thus society in general-bears the majority of these costs. Interpersonal violence is defined to include violence between family members and intimate partners, and violence between acquaintances and strangers that is not intended to further the aims of any formally defined group or cause. Although these types of violence disproportionately affect poorer countries, there is a scarcity of studies of their economic impact in these countries. International comparisons are complicated by the calculation of economic losses based on foregone wages and income, thus undervaluing economic losses in poorer countries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Costs and Cost Analysis*
  • Developing Countries
  • Female
  • Health Expenditures
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Peer Review
  • United States
  • Violence / economics*