The Costs and Consequences of Sexual Violence and Cost-Effective Solutions April 2011
The best available research tells us that crime victimization costs the United States $450 billion annually (National Institute of Justice, 1996). Rape is the most costly of all crimes to its victims, with total estimated costs at $127 billion a year (excluding the cost of child sexual abuse). In 2008, researchers estimated that each rape cost approximately $151,423 (DeLisi, 2010). Sexual abuse has a negative impact on children’s educational attainment (MacMillan, 2000), later job performance (Anda et al., 2004), and earnings (MacMillan, 2000). Sexual violence survivors experience reduced income in adulthood as a result of victimization in adolescence, with a lifetime income loss estimated at $241,600 (MacMillan, 2000). Sexual abuse interferes with women’s ability to work (Lyon, 2002). Fifty percent of sexual violence victims had to quit or were forced to leave their jobs in the year following their assaults due to the severity of their reactions (Ellis, Atkeson, & Calhoun, 1981). In 2008, violence and abuse constituted up to 37.5% of total health care costs, or up to $750 billion (Dolezal, McCollum, & Callahan, 2009).
Rape Crisis Services are Scarce According to a 2010 Internet survey by the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence of 644 rape crisis centers from all 50 states, Washington D.C. and two territories:
56% of rape crisis centers had been forced to reduce staff in the past year.
25% of rape crisis centers had a waiting list for crisis services.
66% of rape crisis centers had to reduce prevention education/public awareness efforts because of funding losses.
61% of rape crisis centers had three (3) or less staff.
60% of rape crisis centers indicated they need at least four (4) full-time staff to meet the current demand for sexual assault services in their community.
93% of rape crisis center employees were paid less than $40,000 a year.