Analysis of Domestic Violence Costs in West Virginia and the Potential Cost of False or Unnecessary Claims
22 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2007
Date Written: September 12, 2007
Government entities around the country (if not the world) expend large dollar amounts related to domestic violence. This study attempted to determine the cost of false or unnecessary domestic violence cases to West Virginia taxpayers. The costs are incurred by West Virginia state, county, and city governments, by many different departments within those governments, and members of the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WVCADV) that receive public funding. Many joint costs related to government programs that provide services not exclusively to domestic violence victims must be reasonably allocated to domestic violence cases.
As many costs as possible were identified from publicly available documents and reasonable estimates were calculated for costs related to domestic violence cases. This report includes domestic violence related costs from law enforcement agencies, the court system, public defenders, and the WVCADV. Other substantial costs related to domestic violence (particularly costs associated with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources), were not estimated because no reasonable basis could be determined with which to derive an estimate. The total annual cost of reasonably estimated items related to domestic violence was over $22.6 million. Information on court decisions related to domestic violence petitions filed led to an estimate that 80.6% of domestic violence petitions are false or unnecessary. Consequently, the total identifiable cost for false or unnecessary domestic violence cases annually in West Virginia is estimated at over $18.2 million per year.
Keywords: domestic violence, costs, false or unnecessary claims
JEL Classification: H75, K14, K36, K42, M40, M46, M48
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation