(Indianapolis, Ind.) – A shocking stat concerning Indiana has been released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The 2009 survey by the CDC showed that Indiana has the most rapes involving teen girls of any state in the country with 17.3 percent of girls from ninth through 12th grades reporting they have been forced into sexual intercourse. The national average is 10.5 percent for the same age range.
Researchers say it's more likely a young woman will be raped in Indiana than develop breast cancer.
"These figures are a sobering signal we must do more, earlier, to avert sexual aggression," said Julia Heiman, director of The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction at IU.
Indiana’s problem may actually be worse than the numbers reflect. Up to 50 percent of all sexual assaults are never reported.
Last month, researchers at Indiana University’s Center for Evaluation & Education Policy and the Consortium for Education and Social Sciences Research released a report titled "Sexual Violence Prevention in Indiana: Toward Safer, Healthier Communities." In it, researchers said government and other agencies are now approaching rape not only retroactively as crime, but also proactively as a serious public health issue.
"Prevention is so crucial and underappreciated nationwide as a tool to reduce rape and sexual abuse," Heiman said. "Even a 10 percent decrease, which I am confident is possible in Indiana, would impact thousands of lives and the associated health and human costs."