Sexual violence takes a physical and psychological toll on survivors, often drastically disrupting their lives. The ripple effects of sexual violence impacts their loved ones and communities.
A new CDC study conducted by economists and behavioral health professionals examined the cost per victim of rape in the United States, based on short- and long-term physical and mental health treatment, lost work productivity for both victims and perpetrators, criminal justice costs, and property loss or damage. The total cost per rape victim is $122,461. With over 25 million rape survivors in the US, the lifetime cost is $3.1 trillion dollars.
These numbers are staggering. In addition to the trauma of assault, survivors, their employers, service providers, and institutions at all levels of government shoulder the economic burden of sexual violence. We must do all we can to reduce the rate of sexual violence and support survivors.
Prevention efforts, such as educational sessions that teach young people about bystander intervention and healthy relationships, social change campaigns challenging rape myths and dismantling oppressions, and other local and statewide programs, can reduce sexual violence and create a culture of healing and support for survivors. Prevention funding (for example, the Centers for Disease Control’s Rape Prevention Education Program) helps state and local agencies build capacity to design, implement, and evaluate age-appropriate, culturally-specific, and evidence-informed programs.
Sexual violence is preventable, and LaFASA and its member centers work every day to end sexual assault and support survivors.