The Big Picture

Statistics that Demand a Response

  • 1 in 10 children are sexually abused before their 18th birthday.
  • Nearly 70% of all reported sexual assaults, including those on adults, occur to children ages 17 and under.
  • Approximately 20% of the victims of sexual abuse are under the age of 8.
  • The American Cancer Society estimates there are 12 million cancer survivors in the US. There are over 39 million survivors of sexual abuse.

Most child victims never tell.

Far-reaching Consequences

Sexually abused children who keep it a secret or who “tell” and are not believed may be at greater risk than the general population for psychological, emotional, social and physical problems often lasting into adulthood.

  • 60% of teen-first pregnancies are preceded by experiences of molestation, rape or attempted rape.
  • 70-80% of sexual abuse victims report excessive drug/alcohol use.
  • Girls who are abused are more likely to develop eating disorders.
  • 50% of abuse victims have thoughts of suicide and 20% have attempted suicide.
  • High school drop-out rates are high among those who are abused.

These are just a few of the consequences that have a huge impact on our communities.

Economic Impact

According to the Department of Justice, the cost of one incident of child sexual abuse is approximately $14,400. DOJ has also created a formula that helps communities understand the economic impact of child sexual abuse. They measure the costs in terms of immediate and tangible costs, such as hospital visits, police investigation, time off of work to deal with the child, counseling, and so on.

Then there are the long-term losses that impact the community, such as loss of earning potential due to poor performance in school, and major health issues lasting into adulthood. Who pays these costs? You, the taxpayer! This is why we say child sexual abuse is a community issue which calls for broad community support for prevention.



Consider the economic impact of these three North Georgia counties:

County / Population

Hall County / 185,000

Lumpkin County/ 27,500

Gwinnett County / 789,500

Immediate cost (annually)

$1.6 million


$6.8 million

Long-term loss (annually)

$16.4 million

$2.4 million

$70 million