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In Shadows of Innocence: Sexual Assault Among Indiana’s Youth, we take a look at the high rate of sexual assault in Indiana, and we’ll also look at states that are doing much better to find out what they’re doing differently. The ultimate purpose is to create awareness about how Indiana schools are preventing sexual assault and inspire discussion about whether policy changes are needed.

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A 2010 report from the CDC estimates that 20.4 percent or 505,000 women in Indiana are victims of rape.

The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 Summary report (PDF)

Out of all rape and sexual assault cases, the U.S. Department of Justice estimates only 47 percent were reported to law enforcement. In Indiana, only 15 percent of cases are reported.

Female victims of violence. Bureau of Justice, Statistics: Selected findings (Catalano, Smith, Snyder, & Rand, 2009) (PDF)
Female Victimization in Indiana (Sidenbender, Wolf, & Jolliff, 2008) (PDF)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2009 Prevention Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance study found Indiana had the second highest rate of 9th-12th graders who reported being forced to have sexual intercourse at 17.3 percent. Only Wyoming had a higher rate at 18 percent.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Youth risk behavior surveillance - United States, 2009

A report from the CDC and the U.S. Department of Justice estimates 18 million women and nearly 3 million men living in the U.S. have been raped at some time in their lives.

Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Rape Victimization: Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey (PDF)

The Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network calculated that based on U.S. Department of Justice statistics, if the number of sexual assaults were divided equally over a year’s time, one person would be sexually assaulted every two minutes.

Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN) (2009). How often does sexual assault occur?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2009 Prevention Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance study found 17.3 percent of 9th-12th grade women had been forced to have sexual intercourse—a significantly higher number than the national average of 10.5 percent.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Youth risk behavior surveillance - United States, 2009

The CDC reports 18.3 percent of women over 18 reported being sexual assaulted in their lifetime while 17.4 percent of women reported smoking. Sexual assault prevention advocates say lawmakers should take this comparison into consideration when determining health policies.

Current Cigarette Smoking Prevalence Among Working Adults- United States, 2004—2010 and The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010