Can Legal Help for Victims Lower Domestic Violence Rates?

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Providing free or subsidized legal assistance to domestic violence victims could help to lower domestic violence rates, according to a new study by the Institute for Policy Integrity at the New York University School of Law.

The study provides a cost-benefit analysis of providing civil legal aid to domestic violence victims, which researchers write has been shown to reduce domestic violence rates by helping victims obtain protective orders and other services.

The report cites one study that found 83 percent of victims who had an attorney obtained protective orders, while less than one-third, 32 percent, of those without attorneys received protective orders.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that domestic violence costs the U.S. at least $9.05 billion each year, according to the report.

“Women subjected to violence by an intimate partner lose nearly 13.6 million days of productivity each year. This includes 8.0 million days of paid work—roughly equal to 32,000 full-time jobs—and 5.6 million days of childcare and other household work,” researchers wrote.

Read the full study HERE.

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