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DSV can compromise the safety of employees and directly interfere with the work of an organization, by decreasing morale and productivity, as well as by increasing absenteeism and health costs. The CDC estimated that the cost of intimate partner rape, physical assault and stalking totaled $5.8 billion each year for direct medical and mental health care services and lost productivity from paid work and household chores. Of this, total productivity losses accounted for nearly $1.8 billion in the United States in 1995. When updated to 2003 dollars, the cost of intimate partner rape, physical assault and stalking is more than $8.3 billion.


One over-looked element of DSV and the workplace is that employees may be perpetrators of violence. People who perpetrate abuse often use workplace time, resources and property (company telephone and computer, company car, etc.) to do so. One study found that 78% of abusers reported using employer resources in connection with an abusive relationship. In addition, “48% of abusers reported having difficulty concentrating at work and 42% reported being late to work.”

Perpetrators of violence may also present with absenteeism and may cause accidents or endanger their colleagues. A 2012 study of domestic violence perpetrators in Vermont found that 80% of the perpetrators said their own job performance was negatively affected by their perpetration of domestic violence. Of the perpetrators surveyed, 19% caused or almost caused an accident at work. In many cases supervisors were aware of the perpetrator’s behavior but failed to confront/admonish the employee about it.