Having spent the last three weeks talking about abortion, I really wanted to move on to happy pastures, but the statistics on Abortion and the things surrounding it are a rabbit hole of their own. These are some follow up thoughts that may or may not have anything to do with abortion, but are things that we need to be aware of even in a community as small as ours where we think that these kinds of things don’t happen.

First, abortion, while occurring almost a million times each year isn’t as common in Idaho. With less than 2000 a year, Idaho has one of the lowest abortion rates in the country. Nationwide it is thought that 1 in 4 women will have an abortion before the age of 45, although in rural areas it is thought to be half the rate of urban areas. That means in rural Idaho, it is thought that 1 in 6 woman will have an abortion. Idaho’s rate is a little less than 8% or about 1 in 13. If Boise is our urban area then they have 1 in 8 and rural Idaho has 1 in 16. Chances are you know someone in Bear Lake County who has had an abortion. This person may or may not have a lot of guilt for their actions, but regardless of how they feel, they know that they wouldn’t be accepted in this community for having had one if people knew. Let’s make sure that if we were to ever find out that someone had one, that we wouldn’t judge, but instead be their friend and help them to find acceptance and love, they probably need it.

Second, sexual assault. Looking into statistics on sexual assault in connection to abortion, made me wonder more on the prevalence of sexual assault in general. One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18. One in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives (this is a type of sexual abuse). In 80% of all cases, the victim knew the perpetrator. 30% of all women raped, were raped before the age of 18. One out of 3 perpetrators of sexual abuse are family members of the victim. It is thought that only 12% of sexual abuse instances are reported. It is also believed that over 60% of rape instances are not reported. This means that you know someone who has been sexually abused and/or raped. This person is probably a member of your family and possibly a member of your immediate family (sister, mother, daughter). The person who committed the crime is also probably someone that you know.

These things are scary, it makes me worried for my own daughter growing up. Will she be one of the 25% who are sexually assaulted? I swear I will kill anyone who touches her or any of my boys. I know that several of my extended family members have been sexually assaulted, and I know that other members of my family have been the perpetrators. It also makes me wonder how we can prevent more of this occurring throughout the world and in our community. Interestingly, a senior recently put on a seminar at the High School on sexual abuse and assault for their senior project, this makes my heart glad that more light is being brought on the subject. Further on June 20th, from 6-830 pm a training on Child Sex Abuse Prevention is being hosted at the Senior Center. It is free to attend as organizations of the community are joining together to pay for it. To register go to https://forms.gle/YBKMc8S1jNLfJ8DG8 While I can’t make it because I have a conference out of town, I hope that many of you can and that we can make the world a better place.

Charles Horikami is a Social Studies Teacher at BLMS, and the Legislative District 32 Chair for the Idaho State Republican Party. The views expressed are not representative of the BLSD or of the Idaho State Republican Party. He can be contacted at chorikami@gmail.com and welcomes all comments and critiques.