This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Domestic Violence Takes a Huge Toll on Health and Mortality

The Baltimore Ravens beat up the Pittsburgh Steelers in football last night, and they did that without star running back Ray Rice, who beat up on the woman who is now his wife and thus is out of football. We condone a lot of violence in human society and none of it is good, in my opinion. Domestic violence has been a huge problem for ever, but the Ray Rice story has brought it to the top of the agenda in the U.S., at least for awhile. This is helped along by a report released just a few days ago by the Copenhagen Consensus Center, which estimates that the cost of all forms of violence add up to $9.5 trillion dollars per year--more than 11% of the world's gross domestic product. But, as the Guardian notes, domestic violence is a huge part of this.
The report says that 43% of all female homicide victims are killed by a current or former intimate partner, and that 30% of women worldwide are subject to domestic violence during their lifetime – a total of around 769 million.
Domestic abuse of women and children should no longer be regarded as a private matter but a public health concern," says the report. It adds: "The cost of interpersonal violence... are almost wholly neglected in current development programming."
And neglected not just in development programming, but also in health care planning. Indeed, "accidents" happening to women are rarely reported in terms of domestic violence, yet that can obviously be a huge contributor to a woman's overall well-being, especially around the issues of reproductive health. It has been more than a 100 years since Margaret Sanger discovered that Italian immigrant women in New York City were afraid to say "no" to their husbands because they knew they would be victims of domestic violence. These were among the revelations that led her to begin the world-wide movement toward effective birth control for women.

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