i swear i’m not making this up


Sure, sure, you’ve all heard the jokes about statutory rape and incest in a few states – Arkansas and Virginia come to mind – but I always kind of thought they were jokes.


But, apparently it’s a real problem. Big enough that the Department of Health in Virginia has launched a new ad campaign – including highway billboards – that urge men not to have sex with an underage girl. Catchphrases like “isn’t she a little young?” and “sex with a minor. don’t go there.” are all part of this in-your-face campaign.

Too funny. Just more proof that truth is stranger than fiction.

Here’s the link to the site for the campaign.

If anyone finds snapshots of the actual billboards, please send me an email. I’m dying to see them! 🙂

About the author

Vikki McKay


  • It’s a wonder what 15 minutes of research can get you.
    You can find statistics for Rape in the National Criminal Victimization Survey (NCVS) put out by the Bureau of justice statistics (BJS): http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/welcome.html
    It doesn’t break things down by state, but, in general the Midwest and Western regions have almost twice as many rapes per capita as Southern and Northeastern regions.
    About 2/3 of all rape victims everywhere are 19 or under (too bad they didn’t divide the statistics at 18, which would give a better measure in terms of statutory rape). Around 80% of victims are under the age of 24. This isn’t a new trend, nor is it state specific.
    http://www.rainn.org has more information specifically on sexual assault and rape.
    Jokes that try to pin this crime on specific states are stupid, prejudicial, and dodge the fact that this is a serious issue everywhere.
    Taking the means by which specific states choose to combat this crime as evidence that these jokes are somehow valid, and people in these states are backwards, more prone to these crimes, etc. is pretty lazy, considering how easy it is to disprove the notion.
    Also, consider that *ALL* states that receive Federal funds for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families programs are *required* to spend funds on statutory rape awareness programs, such as this one.
    So, to recap, yes, this is a real problem. It’s a real problem everywhere (where you live, where I live, etc., etc.) not just in a few states that are butts of stupid jokes.
    Granted, a predator is not going to pay much heed to awareness programs, and I’m sure there are a lot of horny teens that feel that statutory rape laws are getting in the way of their fun, but the laws are there to provide recourse for victims, and the awareness programs prevent well-intentioned people from getting caught up in the laws, and if they prevent even a small number of incidents, then it’s all good from where I stand.
    By the way, this is where I stand: I was molested at an early enough age that I didn’t know what to make of it at the time, except that it felt wrong, and I felt guilty. It wasn’t by an adult, but rather by an older kid (someone who probably *was* molested by an adult); it was enough to pretty much screw up my perceptions of sex, and severely interfered with experiencing healthy sexual relationships for decades.
    I enjoy them now, but it’s taken me a long time to sort shit out.

  • i found this page with a google search for state by states comparison of rape rate…
    i just read your reason to not compare, but i think i have a valid reason… i am curious if the rate is non-trivially different for (the counties in) nevada where prostitution is legal
    any comment or do you know where i could find the answer???

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