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Effect of Domestic Violence on the Economic Development of a Country

Updated on June 6, 2012

Note: The following is based on the opinions of the writer and not on the rate of economic development of any country. In order for any of the examples given to affect the economic growth of any country, there would have to be a large amount of victims of domestic violence in that country's labor force.


What Is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence refers to the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse by one's family member or relative. Physical abuse includes hitting, kicking, and cutting one's child, spouse, parent, or other family member. Coercing relatives to do or to refrain from doing something or going somewhere by the use of force, threats, or harassment also qualifies as domestic abuse.

Even though the family is not highly recognized as a major contributor to the economy, it is the backbone of any country's economy. The development of the economy depends on the individuals who have attained acceptable levels of education, are emotionally and mentally competent, and are physically able to contribute to the community in a positive way.

The family must be held responsible for producing such individuals, as it is here that they learn the basics of surviving in the society. The family is the most influential institution when it comes to the emotional and mental molding of its members. When families fail to contribute positively to the society, over time it results in a breakdown of societal relationships and the economic development of a country.


Domestic abuse and children

When domestic violence is targeted at children, this may cause the economy to decline over a period. For example, when children are abused, they not only have to live with the knowledge and pain, they may tend to react violently to others. They may not be able to fully concentrate and cooperate at school and so does not learn all that would have been possible. When grown, these children may not be able to fully cope and contribute in the workplace. This hampers production and by extension, the economy. These individuals are not able to carry out tasks to their full potential because they were not fully prepared. Because of the lack of preparation, the shortcomings of their tasks may put an indent in the business' production levels. In some cases, this may not be evident at first, while in some it is immediately recognized

Domestic abuse and adults

This may not be the case with working adults who are being abused in their homes by their spouses or even their children. The decline in their working capabilities will be quickly recognized. There is no measure in how distraught individuals become after enduring abuse from people who are expected to love and support them. Feelings of anger, hopelessness, and helplessness that wash over these individuals are not only present at home but also at work. This will affect the work that is being done, relationships with coworkers, and relationships with clients or customers. Being angry or hurt, they may act out their frustration on people around them. Customers may not be able to identify with the rash behavior and stay away from the individual. This will negatively affect the economy due to the lack of or decrease in productivity


While some individuals might show up to work after being abused by a family member, there are those that are so afraid, ashamed, and hurt that they avoid contact with anyone. Because they are absent from work, there will be a lessened output

Good for the economy; Bad for individuals

Some people work harder when they are stressed, hurt, or angry. In this case, productivity levels will increase. While this is good for the economy, this is in no way healthy for the individual. Strenuous work habits accompanied by abuse and not enough rest, relaxation or enjoyment can leave the person feeling drained and susceptible to various illnesses.


There are a large number of abused adults and children are afraid to speak out and seek help. There are those who seek help but never fully recover and function at the optimum level at the workplace or school. While there are other societal problems that may have caused this, it is possible to trace the roots of those problems to family relationships or the lack of it.

In order to prevent or reverse the issues stated above, there need to be more effort made by individuals, social and religious groups, and the government to lower the levels of domestic violence. Social and religious groups can implement activities, clubs, events, and classes that teach people how to prevent abuse and how to heal from it. They can teach people how to identify domestic abuse and offer services geared towards helping the abused. The government can implement and enforce punishments for abusers.


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    • Loi-Renee profile image

      Loi-Renee 6 years ago from Jamaica

      Thank you Cardisa. That's a really good point. Your hub about teaching while depressed is such a good example of that. Domestic Violence is still a very sensitive topic and a lot of people still think it should be hidden in the home and not dealt with.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 6 years ago from Jamaica

      Hi Loi, great hub. Domestic abuse can also have negative effects on the economy too. Because it often leads to depression and depression can make one unproductive. You have a very versatile topic here that most people can relate to or are passionate about.