Domestic violence costs North Carolina $300 million every year because of factors such as health care and criminal-justice expenses, says a study commissioned by two domestic violence advocacy organizations reported by the Charlotte Observer. Leaders of the Charlotte-based eNOugh Campaign and the Jamie Kimble Foundation for Courage hope that their estimate of the total costs of domestic violence will encourage policymakers and corporations to do more to prevent the crime.
Fifty-six people have been killed in domestic violence homicides in the state this year. Jill Dinwiddie, eNOugh co-chair and former executive director of the N.C. Council for Women, hopes the study prompts the legislature to put money toward a domestic violence prevention campaign, similar to campaigns about the dangers of smoking cigarettes. “What people haven't stopped to think about is: What is the cost, what is the economic impact?” said Jay Everett of Wells Fargo, which funded the $45,000 study. “We just felt like it was another strategy to help educate, to help make people aware and to begin to change some attitudes and perceptions around the issue.”