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Published December 16, 2011, 07:24 PM

Minnesota CDC report reveals startling sexual assault numbers

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - A new study put out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows nearly half of Minnesota women have experienced some kind of sexual abuse. The report is just 2 days old, but it's already catching the attention of crisis centers in our area.

A new study put out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows nearly half of Minnesota women have experienced some kind of sexual abuse. The report is just 2 days old, but it's already catching the attention of crisis centers in our area.

Rape and abuse officials say this new report is the first of its kind and it depicts sexual violence more accurately than is previous studies, and that is also expands that definition. The CDC has been following this issue for several years because it believes sexual violence is one of the most pervasive and serious public health issues in this country.

This report breaks down the definition into different categories like intimate partner violence and even stalking. It points out that about 22% of Minnesota women have been raped in their lifetime and more than 48% have experienced sexual violence other than rape.

Rape and Abuse crisis center officials say this report will help them combat issues surrounding sexual violence specifically in our area.

Daria Odegaard – Rape and Abuse Crisis Center: “The studies that we have had thus far reporting rates are so incredibly low, so this is such a comprehensive study, and it's an ongoing study. It'll let us look at trends, state numbers and a lot of ability we haven't had to date.”

The report shows that the number of victims is much higher than previously reported. The purpose of it is to find ways to best interpret and use this data, and to answers frequently asked questions.

To conduct the report, The CDC contacted people through both landlines and cell phones, and allowed them to report anonymously.

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