Meet Anna

Childhood abuse results in a lifetime of economic effects. Read one girl's story.

Anna as a child

She wanted to own a grocery store when she was growing up. Starting at 10 years old, Anna’s mom’s boyfriend began to abuse her.

That lasted for years, because her mother did not report the abuse for fear of repercussions from the government, society, and him.

Finally, a teacher suspected something was wrong, and reached out. Anna’s voice was heard, and her mother was supported too.

The teacher called child welfare, which determined that Anna would be safer in foster care while her mother received needed support so that they could be reunified.

$68,636 *

average per victim for child welfare cost, conservatively

Intervention services, Foster care, Counseling

During the abuse and after, Anna was frequently absent from school and needed special education classes to help her learn.

$16,049 *

average per victim for special education cost

Learning disabilities, Higher absenteeism, Poorer academic performance

Feeling shame and anger, Anna acted out, breaking the law and ending up in juvenile detention

$8,192 *

average per victim for criminal justice cost

Increased likelihood of child / juvenile and adult arrests
Anna as a adolescent

Now, Anna is struggling to create a stable life for her own child. She attends Safe & Sound Family Support Center to build her support network, to improve her parenting abilities, and to care for her son. Safe & Sound and essential family support centers throughout California offer free services for families.

To get the support she needs, Anna goes to therapy. She also sees doctors regularly for a host of health issues, including high blood pressure, that her cardiologist believes is a result of the stress and trauma from her childhood.

$98,089 *

average increased lifetime healthcare costs of a victim over a non-victim

Higher incidence of chronic health problems, Mental health issues, Substance abuse, Risky sexual behavior

Luckily Anna’s juvenile record was sealed, as it was hard enough to secure a job given her learning disability and her medical requirements. Though she has work, her dream of owning a store remains unrealized as of yet, and her earning potential diminished.

$406,277 *

average wages lost over a victim’s lifetime

Diminished earning potential, Unemployment because of everything above

Anna is working hard at her job, her parenting classes, and getting her life on the path she wants for her family, but she will never forget the trauma of her childhood.

$597,243 *

average, in 2018 dollars, total per child cost to our community as a result of maltreatment

Anna as a adolescent

How much does child abuse cost your county?

See our calculator to see the economic impacts in your county.

Read More