Being a victim of rape costs an average of $3,500 in medical bills, study finds

Oral swaps and a Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit (rape kit).

Enlarge / Oral swaps and a Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit (rape kit). (credit: Getty | MediaNews Group)

Seeking emergency medical care in the US after a sexual assault can incur hefty hospital bills that may deter assault reporting and compound victims’ trauma, according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

On average, hospital emergency departments charged $ 3,551 for urgent medical care coded as caused by sexual violence. People who were sexually assaulted while pregnant faced even steeper bills, with an average of $ 4,553. Uninsured victims or those who chose to pay themselves were served bills that averaged $ 3,673. Even those with private insurance faced burdensome bills; the study found that insured victims paid an average of 14 percent of their bills out-of-pocket, which for the average bill would work out to nearly $ 500.

“Emergency department charges may discourage the reporting of rape and seeking of medical care for both short-term and long-term sequelae of sexual assault,” the authors caution. “Incurring such charges may further harm survivors—even those with full insurance coverage—by serving to disclose a potentially stigmatizing event to parents, partners, or employers. Moreover, such bills may further traumatize survivors by suggesting that they are personally responsible for their assault.”

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Post Author: martin

Martin is an enthusiastic programmer, a webdeveloper and a young entrepreneur. He is intereted into computers for a long time. In the age of 10 he has programmed his first website and since then he has been working on web technologies until now. He is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of and Online Magazines. His colleagues appreciate him as a passionate workhorse, a fan of new technologies, an eternal optimist and a dreamer, but especially the soul of the team for whom he can do anything in the world.

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