Because of her personal experience with childhood sexual abuse and her experience from it, author Anne de Nada hopes not only to share her story, but educate her audience on its personal, societal and global affects.
While the USA reports sexual violence is the most costly of all crimes this applies the world over.
The Burden of Sexual Violence and The Immense Need to Heal
Sexual violence in all forms takes a toll not only on its direct victims, but also loved ones and those within the victim’s orbit. As such, healing not only has a personal value to the victim it also has a practical value to society given the immense economic and social burden imposed by sexual violence trauma. Sexual violence is perhaps more effectively viewed on par with disease in that affects all either directly or indirectly and requires interventions to control its spread and manage its symptoms.
“Violence against women is a global pandemic affecting all countries, from low- to middle- and high-income countries” Ban Ki Moon, 2014
The Cost of Sexual Violence
When moving beyond the violent sexual act, the harm caused by perpetrators of sexual violence often leave in the wake of their actions victims and survivors who suffer lifelong physical and mental health consequences. With the lingering effects of this trauma the victim and survivor, as research shows, suffer economic consequences as well. Estimates show that sexual violence can cost survivors more than $120,000 over their lifetimes. The economic burden manifests in a number of ways including medical, social, and personal productivity costs. In the aggregate, sexual violence imposes a cost on society that takes on tangible forms such as lost economic productivity and criminal justice and medical costs. In the United States alone sexual violence carries a total economic burden of $3.1 trillion. Globally the burden increases exponentially given the sheer number of those affected by acts of sexual violence. According to the World Health Organization on average, 35% of women have experienced either physical and/or sexual violence by someone who is an intimate partner or sexual violence by someone who is not a partner. As such, one can arrive at a economic cost that likely exceeds hundreds of trillions of dollars.
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).