17.3: The percentage of young women in grades 9 through 12 who have been raped in Indiana, which has the highest rate of sexual violence in the nation.
In Indiana, girls have a higher chance of becoming the victim of sexual assault than almost any other place in the country.Welcome to Indiana, where rape against girls is so prevalent that it shocks even people who are experts in sex and crimes of sexual violence.
As WBBM Newsradio's Michele Fiore reports, 10.5 percent of all American high school-age girls have been forced into sexual intercourse, according to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But the rate vastly exceeds the national average in Indiana, where 17.3 percent of girls in grades 9 through 12 have been raped.
Kinsey Institute Director for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction Julie Heiman told the Bloomington, Ind., Herald-Times that she was "shocked" at the statistics.
The Herald-Times also pointed out that researching the issue is a challenge, given that up to 50 percent of sexual assaults against women are never reported, and Indiana is one of three states – along with Mississippi and New Mexico – where law enforcement is not required to report sexual violence to the FBI.And where, at least in my personal experience, mandated reporting of sexual violence against female students is treated more like a suggestion than a responsibility.
I will also note that Indiana leads the nation in abortion restrictions. That's relevant, of course, because some of those many rapes will result in pregnancies, but, less obviously, it's also relevant because it underlines that Indiana is a state that is hostile to women, to female autonomy, to female agency, and to the concept of consent.
It is not a coincidence that the state with the highest number of restrictions on a legal medical procedure accessed exclusively by women and other people with uteri is also the state with the highest rate of rape against young women. Both are the inevitable result of systemic indifference to the basic feminist principle of trusting women to make the best decisions for themselves and then respecting those decisions.
There is flatly not meaningful equality for women in Indiana.