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Understanding and Preventing Violence: Volume 4 - Consequences and Control
One problem with this approach is the assumption that all psychologically injured victims seek mental health treatment. Although this is obviously not true, we have no data that would shed light on the correct percentage. Thus, assuming that the estimated percentage of psychologically injured victims is correct, we have overestimated the monetary mental health costs. Instead, the estimate should be considered the potential mental health costs.
There is another important reason for not reducing this estimate to account for those who need psychological counseling but do not receive treatment. In a later section, we estimate the mental pain and suffering associated with victim injury, based on the amount of money spent on mental health care. Individuals who do not receive needed treatment still suffer from pain and suffering. In fact, they probably suffer more than those who ultimately receive needed treatment. Thus, we would underestimate mental pain and suffering if we adjusted the mental health costs downward.
Although the estimates in Table 4 look somewhat "reasonable," we reiterate that this is an area of research in which data are still too sparse to permit any confidence in the actual estimates.25 Instead, they provide some basis of comparison with the magnitude of more easily discernible costs, such as medical and property losses.
Monetary Losses to Victims: Cash and Property
Table 5 reports NCS data for nonmedical monetary losses to victims of rape, robbery, and assault. Separate estimates are made for cash, property stolen, and property damage. In each case, the average loss is given for those who report losses, along with the percentage of the victim population that incurs that loss. As is clear from these estimates, the cash and property losses associated with victimization involving injury are small relative to many of the other costs estimated here. The average rape victim or assault victim incurs about $10 in cash and property losses, whereas the average robbery (or attempted robbery) victim loses $335.
Indirect Monetary and Nonmonetary Losses
The consequences of victimization can be far reaching. According to Burt and Katz (1985:330), "During the weeks or months following the [rape], women frequently make costly changes in