Lifetime Economic Burden of Rape Among U.S. Adults (American Journal of Preventive Medicine)

Report of study quantifying per-victim lifetime economic cost of sexual violence.

June 2017 – An estimated 19.3% of U.S. women and 1.7% of men have been raped during their lifetime. Sexual violence victimization is associated with poor short- and long-term physical and mental health outcomes.

Few studies have quantified the per-victim lifetime economic cost of sexual violence, which at a minimum includes victims’ impaired health, as well as lost productivity and criminal justice activities. A per-victim cost here refers to the value of a person entirely avoiding a particular exposure. Previous studies have estimated related cost dimensions—such as cost per sexual assault incident—but largely have not accounted for victims’ long-term health. The aim of this study was to use data from previous studies with current administrative and sexual violence surveillance data to estimate the per-victim U.S. lifetime cost and total population economic burden of rape among adults not currently institutionalized.