In all of the discussions you hear about the dire financial troubles of the United States, you never hear President Obama or any member of Congress talk about the enormous costs associated with child abuse or adult survivors of child abuse. In fact, no president or member of Congress, in the history of our country, has ever put child abuse and neglect on the national agenda.
The reality is that in 2007, it was reported that the United States spent around $104 BILLION to address this horrendous behavior.1 That was about $2 BILLION PER MONTH. I’m sure the cost has gone up since then.
Some of the costs associated with child maltreatment and survivors of abuse include:
- Foster Care,
- Law Enforcement,
- Court Costs,
- Mental Healthcare,
- Coroner Costs,
- Premature Funeral Expenses,
- Insurance Processing Claims,
- School days lost by victims,
- Productivity lost by workers and supervisors recruiting and training replacements for disabled workers,
- Costs for processing public and private disability insurance payments, and
- Welfare payments to those permanently disabled.
Costs NOT tabulated associated with people who were victims of child abuse and neglect include:
- Domestic Violence Shelters,
- Juvenile Delinquent Centers,
- Substance Abuse Treatment Centers, and
- Prisons (where a large majority of people have child abuse histories).
All the perpetrators ask the American public, the President and Congress to do is: DO NOTHING. How can we expect these home-based criminals to stop the beating, molesting, and killing of children every day in America if no one talks about it? Stop playing into this shameful secret and start working to address these crimes.
1 Economic Impact Study Page (September 2007), Prevent Child Abuse America 2007