Recognizing sexual violence as a serious threat to public health with lifelong consequences for the safety and well-being of Utah citizens, the Utah Department of Health enlisted the assistance of the Utah Sexual Violence Council and the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault (UCASA) to gather and compile data illustrating the economic burden of sexual violence to help guide sexual violence prevention and response activities. The resulting report revealed the startling finding that the costs resulting from sexual violence in the year 2011 totaled nearly $5 billion, almost $1,700 per Utah resident. The greatest cost was due to the pain, suffering, and diminished quality of life that victims experienced.
The data reveals dramatic differences in the resources that are allocated after a sexual assault takes place. In 2011, the Utah state government spent more than $92 million on people known to have perpetrated sexual violence while spending only $16.5 million on those who experienced sexual violence. Only $569,000 was spent on efforts to prevent sexual violence.
Although the cost of sexual violence presented here is an underestimation, information on these costs is crucial in educating policymakers on the importance of intervention and the savings that could result from investing in prevention. Increased awareness of the disparities in funding spent on victims versus perpetrators of sexual violence will assist policymakers in determining the most effective allocation of state resources... Read more.