New research shows the financial toll domestic violence has in Alberta.

It's costing taxpayers millions of dollars a year, but researchers hope their findings show how prevention could help reduce the economic burden.

A new report by the University of Calgary School of Public Policy studied the costs of domestic violence after women leave abusive relationships, which is in excess of $600 million over five years.

Lana Wells is the lead researcher and says more needs to be done to prevent domestic violence, which would save taxpayers millions of dollars a year.

"By understanding the costs of domestic violence and understanding it is preventable,,,helps policy makers make better decisions."

Wells suggests starting teaching kids in kindergarten about healthy relationships, engaging boys and men in violence prevention and expanding Alberta's home visit program for new moms would go along way toward preventing domestic violence.

"We have not included women who are still in relationships who have not left the abusive spouse. We have not included women who are deceased because of acts of violence. So one way to look at this number is it's the tip of the iceberg," says Herb Emery with the U of C Economics department.

Alberta has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the country.