The Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department are working to reduce the number of unsolved sexual assault cases.
IMPD received a grant from the Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance in 2019 to address the backlog of rape kits the agency has yet to process. Indianapolis Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Coordinator Jane French said the kits contain evidence.
“It could be clothing, but it's hopefully DNA evidence collected from the scene of the incident and also collected off the person who was assaulted.”
According to the coalition, 85 percent of sexual assault victims in the state will not report their assault to the police. French said there are several reasons why the crimes go unreported.
“Sometimes the person knows the perpetrator, and that stops them from reporting. Maybe they don't have any physical injuries and so they don't think that it would be worth reporting. Maybe they're concerned that they won't be believed.”
Indiana ranks fourth highest in the nation for the number of reported rapes among high school girls. French said that minors often believe they will “get in trouble” if they report being sexually assaulted.