Rape survivor rallies for change at statehouse

(WISH Photo/Jessica Smith)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Jenny Wendt is a rape survivor pushing for change at the Indiana Statehouse. Wendt rallied with fellow survivors, activists and supporters Tuesday in front of the statehouse steps.

Wendt was attacked by her former IUPUI teaching assistant in 2005. Earlier this year, her attacker confessed to the crime, but faced no charges because the five-year statute of limitations had expired. 

Now, even though her case is closed, Wendt is pressing lawmakers to get rid of the time limit for rape or make it 20 years.

“I don’t want anyone to ever be stuck in my situation. It’s just not right,” said Wendt.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. It’s also the month Wendt was attacked.

Wendt teamed up with INCASA to put their cause in the spotlight. INCASA, Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault, is standing behind Wendt in her efforts to change the law.

Dozens of people held balloons, and listened to Wendt and fellow victim Amy Sorrells, tell their stories of survival on Tuesday. Sorrells shared her story of how she was molested multiple times from the time she was two years old.

Both women think the current statute of limitations doesn’t give victims the time they need to recover–which is why many crimes go unreported.

“It is a silent epidemic, and it’s something that we have to start talking about, we have to start putting faces with and we have to start fighting,” said Sorrells.

Sorrells hopes a change in the law would give victims a new sense of importance.

“What happened to them is valid and what happened is real, and a court of law can’t stop that from being, cant’ stop it from being the truth,” said Sorrells.

Wendt is working with lawmakers to bring up legislation next year, that would change the statute of limitations. Her petition to change the law has gained thousands of supporters.

“There’s problems in the whole process. I believe that all that can be changed, and I’m on a mission to do that,” said Wendt.

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