Thursday, July 17, 2014
Daniel Altman
Press Secretary
(317) 232-0550

INDIANAPOLIS – Tomorrow, the Indiana Department of Education and the Indiana School Safety Academy are co-sponsoring a regional training titled “Teen Dating Violence/Sexual Assault: Creating a Safe Environment at School.” This event is designed to help create a culture of safety in Indiana schools and effectively aid victims of violence and assault. It will be held on Friday, July 18th at Harrison College in Indianapolis from 8:30am to 3:30pm and is open to the press.

“Sexual assault is a very serious issue that affects the well-being of Indiana students,” said Glenda Ritz, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction. “Before any student can learn, he or she first needs to feel safe. That is why it is imperative that school leaders are trained to understand how to identify and help students who are going through these horrible situations. Parents, schools, and communities must work together to ensure that our children can learn and grow in a supportive environment.”

“Counselors, nurses, and school safety officers will meet 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. Our presenters will include Chris Warren from the Domestic Violence Network and Colleen Yeakle from the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Together, they have over 20 years of combined experience in this area. Their expertise will allow school leaders to create effective solutions tailored to their students and community.”

A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranked Indiana second in the nation in sexual assault against young women. Of Indiana females in 9th-12th grade, 17.3% reported being forced to have sexual intercourse, as compared to the national average of 10.5%. One in five women in Indiana have been victims of rape at some point within their lifetime, and 18 million women and almost 3 million men in the United States have been raped.