The Indiana Department of Education in conjunction with the Indiana School Safety Academy are taking steps this month to educate students about sexual assault.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have ranked the state of Indiana second in the nation for sexual assault against young women according to a recent study.
About 17.3 percent of high school age females report having been pushed to have sexual intercourse against their will. The national average for teen rape is 10.5 percent.
One in five female Indiana residents has become the victim of rape within their lifetime.
In the U.S., about 18 million women and 3 million men have been raped.
That is why the regional training done in July is so important.
“Teen Dating Violence/ Sexual Assault: Creating a Safe Environment at School” is what they are calling the event.
“This event is designed to help create a culture of safety in Indiana schools and effectively aid victims of violence and assault,” read a press release from the Indiana Department of Education.
“Sexual assault is a very serious issue that affects the well-being of Indiana students,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz of Indiana. “Before any student can learn, he or she first needs to feel safe.”
This seminar teaches school leaders like principals, counselors, and teachers to look for the signs and positively identify students who may be victims.
School leaders are advised on the best resources and ways to help students who come forward.
“Parents, schools, and communities must work together to ensure that our children can learn and grow in a supportive environment,” said Ritz.
“Counselors, nurses, and school safety officers met to discuss policy development and legal responsibilities,” said Leslie-Ann James, IDOE Safety Academy Specialist. “We hope that those who attend the conference will learn how to implement school safety policies and work with local advocacy groups to raise awareness in their communities.”
Presenters for the event included Chris Warren from the Domestic Violence Network and Colleen Yeakle from the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
These presenters have over 20 years of combined experience in helping identify and assist victims.
“Their expertise will allow school leaders to create effective solutions tailored to their students and community,” said James.