The epidemic needs to stop.  The solution needs to address the socialization boys and girls receive, teaching mutual respect for both sexes cannot start at too early and age.  Otherwise, we as a society, will pay the very real costs.

“Let us take the case of Dr Ford, who had to put her mental, emotional, and physical safety on the line to report the sexual assault she suffered. During her testimony she was asked to discuss the short and long-term impacts of being a survivor. Dr Ford mentioned her first two “disastrous” years as an undergrad at University of North Carolina. Although she went on to earn a PhD, those disastrous times could have cost her academic career.

Imagine all the women who experienced life-long economic disadvantage from the devastating trauma brought on by assault. Perhaps due to the resulting anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), they are unable to go back to work or complete college, or even if they do, they subsequently struggle financially or are unable to advance in their careers.

In the simplest of terms, survivors and the subsequent decrease in accumulation of wealth they experience is lost human capital. As has been proven time and time again, the more capital that’s funneled into an economy, the more robust that economy. By allowing “boys to be boys” with impunity, we’re not only compromising on a social contract of civility, we’re actually preventing a third of the female population from fulfilling their economic potential, which is handicapping the American economy, plain and simple.

The research findings that are offered about the costs of sexual assault are in no way exhaustive, but they do offer a slice of the pie. For example, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the total cost survivors incurred as a result of sexual assault was $18m in 2002. Adjusted to today, that number would probably be significantly higher.

The National Alliance to End Sexual Violence states “survivors who were sexually assaulted during adolescence have been found to have reduced income as adults, with an estimated lifetime income loss of $241,600.”