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Ever wonder how much rape costs? Yep. There's actually a number.

Violence against women isn't just emotionally devastating and immoral — it's also pretty darn expensive. So if you care about money — or women — take a look.

Ever wonder how much rape costs? Yep. There's actually a number.
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Obviously, violence against women is a very serious problem. But I never really thought about the monetary angle. That's right. Money. Seems like the least important thing to talk about when it comes to abuse and assault, but apparently there's a seriously huge economic cost to all the physical and sexual violence that women experience in the U.S. Get ready to have your mind blown.


Sexualized and domestic violence costs the U.S. $5.8 billion ... yes, BILLION. Don't act like you knew that!

Now, here's how that breaks down. $5.8 billion is the cost associated with three things: health care, productivity, and lifetime earning losses for three violence areas (physical assault, rape, and stalking).

As you could guess, the majority of that $5.8 billion is spent on health care. $4.1 billion worth of hospital treatment, emergency room visits, ambulance charges, X-rays, MRIs, and therapy. Yep. All here. I don't know about you, but I've never heard that stat in the national debate around America's overall health care costs. Seems like there's an obvious way to cut them (hint, hint: Stop attacking women), but I digress.

OK. Back to the numbers. This next one is where I really got sick to my stomach.

Over $300 million of that $5.8 billion is the health care costs, productivity costs, and lifetime earnings lost due to rape. Take a second and think about that. How many rapes must be happening to cost this county over $300 million?!?! (This is also a really good number to pull from your back pocket the next time someone tells you that sexual assault isn't the epidemic women say it is.)

If you think that's a lot of money, check out the next one.

The most costly type of violence in this $5.8 billion spent? Physical assault. $4.2 billion worth of punches, slaps, chokes, and bruises. And the fun doesn't stop there.

You know those productivity and earnings costs that I keep mentioning? This is what happens when women have to stay home from work and otherwise aren't being 100% productive in the workforce. $1.75 billion worth of work not getting done and money not being earned.

We've saved quite a bit of money as a result of the Violence Against Women Act — $16.4 billion to be exact! Which proves that not only does violence against women cost us, we can actually save by ending it.

Share this image for yet another reason (as if we need one?) that it's important for America to seriously invest in new laws, better enforcement, more support services, and, of course, prevention, prevention, prevention. Because lives aren't just being destroyed by violence against women. The economy is too.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.