The toll that domestic violence, sex crimes and sex trafficking takes on Tennessee's women is measured in bruises and broken bones, rape kits and funerals. Now it can be measured in dollars, The Tennessean reports. A new study by the Tennessee Economic Council on Women says the cost of violence against Tennessee's women in 2012 was at least $886,171,950.
That includes the cost of investigating and charging perpetrators. It includes the cost of jail and medical and mental health treatment for victims. It also includes work hours women lose when they can no longer hold down a steady job. Study authors say the price tag probably is an underestimate, with the real cost exceeding $1 billion a year — much of it borne by taxpayers. It doesn't include the cost of making sure children exposed to violence are safe, which the study found to be incalculable. “We by no means are trying to put a price on human life. That is not the case. But what we are trying to do is to put a price on the services that are offered because of these crimes,” said the council’s Phyllis Qualls-Brooks. “We all are paying in one way or another. If you think you are not affected or impacted by this, when you see these figures, you will know that you are.”