The Cost of Sexual Violence is High, Invest in Prevention


The Cost and Consequences of Sexual Violence in California was commissioned by the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA) in an effort to create greater comprehension of the physical, emotional, social, and economic impact of rape and sexual assault upon California taxpayers. Families, friends, partners, neighbors, and co-workers know first hand the time and resources necessary to recover from sexual violence. However, never before has there been a comprehensive quantitative analysis of both tangible and intangible costs to the state resulting from the utterly preventable crime of rape. The cost of sexual violence is high $140 billion. At a minimum, this report reveals how all Californians have an investment in eliminating sexual violence.

California anti-sexual assault advocates have for five decades responded to sexual violence survivors through counseling sessions, hospital forensic exams, reports made to law enforcement, and accompaniments to court proceedings. We recognize that through our prevention work – incalculable hours of education and training, public awareness campaigns, collaborative organizing and community mobilizing, policy change, media advocacy – we see culture change. Claims of sexual abuse against powerful individuals extend back into the 1970s and 1990s respectively. Survivors who once suffered in silence for decades have found courage in the new millennia to publically speak out and have been greeted by a society no longer tolerant of rape and abuse. The global ripple effect of disclosures, terminations, lawsuits, and investigations has impacted public government and private industries across the globe. We can credibly state that years of prevention work have shifted our culture from one of silence and shame to one intolerant of sexual violence and demanding accountability.

Our vision is BIG – a sexually respectful and healthy world free from sexual violence. The Cost and Consequences of Sexual Violence in California is a critical piece in accomplishing this vision. In order to accomplish this task, everyone must recognize their part in shaping a vision for the future: vision that disallows molestation as a first sexual experience, a vision where laborers support their families without fear of a sexually hostile work environment, and vision where we have the courage to remove those elements that normalize sexual assault in society from sexist comments to looking the other way. It is essential that everyone buy into the big picture because as this report evidences, not doing so is far more costly.  Further, by investing in California’s sexual violence intervention and prevention efforts, we invest in a healthy future for California.


Sandra Henriquez

Sandra Henriquez is CALCASA’s Chief Executive Officer. She has more than two decades of experience working in social services, of which 16 years were in non-profit management. She had demonstrated profound leadership as the former Associate Director for Intervention Programs at the Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women (now Peace Over Violence). She also served on CALCASA’s board of directors for more than a decade. Her participation on the board was essential to the Coalition’s reorganization, hiring of staff, and the development in policies and procedures.

0 comments… add one

Leave a Comment