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Anita Carpenter, Chief Executive Officer of the Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault says, "We have way too many circumstances where we're receiving a phone call after the fact from a victim who is frustrated because they are unable to find services and support." Carpenter also says there is no state funding in Indiana for victims of sex crimes, a priority she hopes can be addressed in the next budget session.
Indiana's five-year statute of limitations on filing rape charges is problematic as is apparent in the recent Jenny Wendt case, in Marion County, where reportedly the attacker ca,e forward nine years later but could not be charged.
Carpenter says that because victims feel they don't have a voice even if they come forward to report the crime, "sexual assault is viewed as a silent, violent epidemic." In 80 percent of cases, the victim knows her attacker, she says.
According to the CDC, one in six high-school-aged girls in Indiana has been sexually assaulted, the highest proportion in the country. The Indiana House is backing a plan for a committee to study the causes and research solutions.
Carpenter says that the Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault is trying to address the needs of every victim who asks for help. In the meantime, the 1-800-656-HOPE Hotline, can direct callers to the closest rape crisis center.
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