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Maine statistics on teen sexual violence match findings in new national report

The U.S. CDC is reporting a marked increase in teen sexual violence since it began monitoring the measure a decade ago.

The report released Monday found that nearly 15% of teen girls say they've been forced to have sex — an increase of 27% over two years.

The executive director of the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Elizabeth Ward Saxl, says national statistics are consistent with what's happening in Maine.

"Actually, about 50% of the calls to Maine Sexual Assault Helpline are about experiences of sexual violence by people who are under 18, and the majority of those being girls," says Saxl.

The report also found that nationally, nearly one in three high school girls reported that they seriously considered suicide. Saxl says there's a strong correlation between sexual violence and suicidal ideation.

The Maine Sexual Assault Helpline is available 24/7 at 1-800-871-7741.

The Maine Crisis Line is available 24/7 at 1-888-568-1112