Sexual Assault And Child Abuse Have Financial Cost

April is recognized nationally as both Sexual Assault Awareness and Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month and throughout the entire year for more than three decades now, Pee Dee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Assault (PDC) has responded to victims of family and sexual violence and worked to prevent future cases.
“Taking care of those already affected by rape or child abuse and neglect is the ethical and moral thing to do”, says PDC executive director Ellen Hamilton,” however preventing future violence is equally right and financially sound.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) the estimated total lifetime financial costs associated with just one year of confirmed cases of child maltreatment (physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse and neglect) is approximately $124 billion. Findings show each death due to child abuse – between 4 and 7 each day in the United States – had a lifetime cost of about $1.3 million, almost all of it in money that the child would have earned over a lifetime if he or she had lived.
The lifetime cost for each victim of child abuse who lived was $210,012, which is comparable to other costly health conditions such as stroke with a lifetime cost per person estimated at $159,846 or type 2 diabetes, which is estimated between $181,000 and $253,000. In a report issued this week by The Preventative Journal of Medicine based on the CDC study:
“Lifetime Economic Burden of Rape Among U.S. Adults,” the per-victim lifetime cost of rape is $122,461 due to impaired physical and mental health, lost productivity, and criminal justice costs from a societal perspective. The cost does not include a “monetized version of victim’s pain and suffering.” The report notes that these per-victim dollar amounts can be interpreted as “the cost averted” when an instance of rape (or child abuse) is prevented.
In addition to comprehensive assessment and treatment in cases of child abuse and neglect, Durant Children’s Center, a program of Pee Dee Coalition, offers a number of prevention programs including:
PEPS (Parent Education and Parent Support) Groups;
Talking About Touching© provides personal body safety education for preschool, daycare, primary, and elementary school students in which children increase their ability to say “no”, get away from unsafe situations and to identify safe adults; and Stewards of Children®, developed by Darkness to Light, to educate adults about the prevalence and consequences of child sexual abuse and empower them to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly when they suspect a child is being harmed.
Pee Dee Coalition, supported in part by the United Way, offers the regions only staffed 24-hour crisis line for victims of sexual and family violence at 800-273-1820; individual and group counseling; medical, legal and criminal justice advocacy and sexual assault prevention programs:
* R.O.A.R. (Reducing Our Assault Risk) a forum for engaging today’s youth and young adults in healthy conversations about sex and sexual violence
* R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense) training for women in self-defense against various types of assault by utilizing easy, effective and proven techniques
For more information on services provided through Pee Dee Coalition and Durant Children’s Center visit www.peedeecoalition.org, find us on Facebook or call one of the crisis center numbers listed in the attached news release.

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