Minnesota Pioneers First-Ever Report on the High Cost of Sexual Assault
In an effort to initiate a statewide plan for sexual assault prevention, the Minnesota Department of Health released a first-of-its-kind report illustrating the economic implications of sexual assault, placing the final figure at approximately $8 billion dollars in 2005. "This is a major public health and safety concern, not only because of the financial costs, but for the devastating effects these assaults have on the victims and their families," Dianne Mandernach, Minnesota Commissioner of Health, said in a release. funny picturesfunny imagesfunny photosfunny animal picturesfunny dog picturesfunny cat picturesfunny gifs
According to the Minnesota Department of Health, 61,000 children and adults were sexually assaulted in 2005, some of whom were victimized on more than one occasion. The report, titled "Costs of Sexual Violence in Minnesota," quantifies the economic impact, which is absorbed by victims, perpetrators, family members, and the state, of such abuse. For example, the sexual assault of a child costs $184,000 on average and $139,000 for adults. By far, the highest cost of sexual assault is "suffering and lost quality of life," which accounted for $6.4 billion of the some $8 billion. The report measure the financial burdens of sexual violence, including criminal justice costs, lost time at work, victim services, medical and mental health, treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, abortions, suicide attempts, and suicides.
The release of the report comes on the heels of a high-profile rape case in Minnesota, in which University of Minnesota football player Dominic Jones has been charged with raping an unconscious woman while a friend recorded footage of the incident on his cell phone's video recorder.
The Minnesota Department of Health and other concerned agencies and organizations are working together to develop and implement a state plan for sexual assault prevention. Officials hope that other states will use the report as a model and follow suit to assess the impact of sexual assault in other states, according to Minnesota Public Radio.
Media Resources: Minnesota Department of Health release 7/17/07; ABC News 7/17/07; Minnesota Public Radio 7/17/07; AP 7/18/07
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .