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Understanding and Preventing Violence: Volume 4 - Consequences and Control
percent. Table 24 summarizes the victim-related cost estimates in this paper. It is based on the WTP approach to valuing reduced quality of life. The average victim-related cost of rape (including attempted rape) is estimated to be $54,100 (in 1987 dollars). The average robbery or attempted robbery cost $19,200, whereas the average assault or attempted assault (including simple and aggravated) cost $16,500. (If compensation estimates are used for valuing reduced quality of life in nonfatal injuries, the estimates increase to $65,200 for rape, $23,200 for robbery, and $19,300 for assault.) As noted in Table 24, many costs are excluded due to data limitations. Thus, the true cost of violence is higher than reported here.
It is important to realize that the bulk of these cost estimates—roughly 85 percent—can be attributed to nonmonetary losses such as pain, suffering, and the reduced quality of life. The remaining 15 percent include direct monetary losses to victims, lost productivity, emergency response, and program administration.
The estimates in Table 24 are based on all attempted and completed victimizations—including those that result in no physical injuries. If we adjust these estimates to account for only those victims who suffer physical injury, victim costs are considerably higher: $85,700 to $104,000 for rape, $44,300 to $55,400 for robbery, and $38,8000 to $48,400 for assault.
Table 24 summarizes the cost of society's response to violent behavior disaggregated into the categories of murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Unlike victimization costs, we are unable to estimate the cost of society's response to simple assaults.
Table 26 estimates the measurable aggregate costs of violence in the United States in 1987. It excludes murder because these incidents are apportioned to the underlying crime. In 1987, it was estimated that the cost of victimization was $8.0 to $9.6 billion for rape, $20.5 to $24.8 billion for robbery, and $81.3 to $95.2 billion for assault.
Table 27 aggregates society's response to victimization over all incidents in 1987. We estimate total measurable costs of society's response to rape to be $1.6 billion; robbery, $6.3 billion; and aggravated assault, $10.1 billion. These estimates include about $2 billion spent in response to murder where the underlying crime was either rape, robbery, or assault.