The conclusion of a study by the Utah Department of Health is that the state currently pays an estimated $5 billion each year on the costs related to sexual violence. The report estimates that the state spends 15.1% of this total on victim services such as medical and psychological care, 84.4% on investigating, trying and incarcerating the perpetrators, and 0.5% on prevention. One-third of those incarcerated are there for sexual offenses.
“The numbers alone can’t begin to quantify the impact that sexual violence has on victims, families and communities in the entire state,” [Ron] Gordon [executive director of the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice] said, adding that having the costs totaled gives the state “a starting place” to look at what needs to change.
Dr. Robert Rolfs, deputy director of the health department, said it is astounding how much money is lost on the problem, but work is being done and can still be done in the home, at schools, and through other interactions within the community.
“We get this now. We know it is happening,” he said. “It’s a lot of money and most of it is people suffering.”