The Cost of Sexual Violence

What are the costs associated with sexual violence?  A group of Canadian survivors of sexual assault are bringing attention to the cost of the violence in their country, according to CBC News.  

“More than 150 sexual assault survivors are sending $7 million worth of invoices to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.  Their goal? To demonstrate just how expensive it is to be attacked,” reported CBC News.

"Often we talk in terms of trauma, emotional harm, but we don't think about the actual logistics....” Those who were students when assaulted stated that tuition costs were enormous, as many victims said they dropped out of school after being assaulted, still holding large school loan debt for a degree they couldn’t complete. Also substantial were ‘legal fees, paying for therapy, paying for medication and other medical procedures’."  

The Huffington Post reported these costs for just one attack:


The NY Times reported about a year ago “What One Rape Cost Our Family,” N.Y.TIMES (June 24, 2016), detailing approximately $245,000 in out-of-pocket costs and lost wages for family from daughter’s sexual assault).  

Being aware of and understanding the impact of sexual violence can illuminate how vast and broad in scope such a tragedy can be – for the victim and for broader society.  While family restoration cannot necessarily compensate a victim of these costs, it can work to bring healing to both the victim and society.

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