Direct Link to Research Report:
USA - State of Minnesota Sexual Violence Cost $8 Billion
August 14, 2007
More than 61,000 Minnesota residents were sexually
assaulted in 2005, costing the state almost $8 billion, or $1, 540 per
resident. A new report from the Minnesota Department of Health finds that there
were more than 77,000 incidences of sexual assault in 2005, and many victims
were assaulted more than once. State officials hope the report will serve as a
benchmark against which to measure future progress in reducing this crime, and
as a model for other states.
Cost of Sexual Violence in Minnesota finds that the largest cost – 88 percent of the $8 billion – was due to the pain, suffering, and quality of life losses of victims and their families, and related breakdowns in their lives and relationships. Medical care, mental health care, victim work loss, sexually transmitted diseases, unplanned pregnancy, suicidal acts, substance abuse and victim services cost $1.3 billion. Criminal justice and perpetrator treatment cost $130.5 million, only two percent of the total.
More than half the costs, approximately $4.1 billion, resulted from sexual assaults against those age 17 and younger. Only six percent involved sexual assault victims over age 45. Sexual assaults against females accounted for 76 percent of the costs.
Authors say the $8 billion estimate is only a fraction of the true costs of sexual violence, because it excludes the costs of crimes committed by people whose experiences of victimization contributed to their criminal behavior, and costs of personal and community protection (alarms and security services), family and relationship problems that arise when someone is victimized or commits sexual violence, and costs to those who are mistakenly suspected of committing these crimes.
“Sexual violence costs 3.3 times as much as alcohol-impaired driving in Minnesota,” the report says, concluding that “policy recommendations aimed at preventing sexual violence before it occurs should be vigorously pursued, adopted and sustained.”
The Minnesota Department of Health and the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation prepared the report, with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To view it, please visit www.pire.org/documents/mn_brochure.pdf.
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