New PSA Highlights Hidden Financial and Emotional Costs of Campus Rape


Ultraviolet, the reproductive rights advocacy group, released a new public service announcement today, highlighting the hidden emotional and financial costs of campus rape.

As the PSA points out, one 2010 study estimated that one rape “costs” the victim $151,423. Rape survivors are estimated to lose roughly $138,310, in things like medical costs, lost future earnings, and lost quality of life costs, while the “justice costs” when the crime is prosecuted are roughly $8,503. The authors estimated that the average total cost of a rape to the victim and the public is $448,532.

Ultraviolet points out, too, that the emotional costs for the victim can be devastating: bullying, isolation, lost income, sharing an campus with one’s assailant, and the prospect of having to drop out. And twenty-three states allow rapists to sue for custody rights if their victim gets pregnant.

This is one of a series of new ads the non-profit is producing to draw attention to what they see as particularly stigmatized issues. Ultraviolet previously criticized Gawker Media’s ad sales department for declining to run an ad about abortion on Jezebel.

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