Wednesday, March 14, 2007

American Indian Women Raped 2.5 Times the National Average

This story from the Billings Gazette highlights a particularly disturbing trend in who is being targeted for sexual violence.

While more than 17 million women have been raped in their life, according to a Department of Justice 2006 report, American Indian women reported the highest numbers of rape of any other racial or ethnic group in the United States, at a rate 2.5 times higher than the national average. [...]

Amnesty International, a worldwide human rights organization, has spent two years researching sexual assaults in urban and reservation areas. Amnesty officials have scheduled an April 24 press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The following day, organization leaders will release a report titled, "USA: Maze of Injustice - The Failure to Protect Indigenous Women from Sexual Violence." [...]

Tess Curley on Montana's Flathead Reservation is especially concerned at rising numbers of sexual assaults and at the age of victims. Thirty-three percent of women are raped between the ages of 12 and 17. [...]

The Cangleska shelter hired its first, full-time worker in February to work specifically with sexual assault victims on the Pine Ridge Reservation where women have had to drive 120 miles for aid in Rapid City, S.D., now ranked fourth in the nation for most rapes per capita. The shelter has since acquired rape kits to collect samples from victims and to fill out reports.

"In many of the cases they were raped in our border towns," said Rendon, referring to cities near the reservation. The U.S. Justice Department reports that the majority of violent crimes against American Indian women are committed by white men.

You read that right. Most of the rapists of American Indian women and girls are white men. To me that indicates a high level of bigotry in both attitudes about who is seen as "asking for it" and who is seen as powerless to get justice.

If the question is, "Who you gonna rape?" the answer needs to be, "Nobody."

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 1:02 AM   3 comments links to this post


At March 20, 2007 4:57 PM, Anonymous Amber ( said...

It’s great that you are raising awareness surrounding this issue. Native American and Alaska Native women and organizations have spearheaded efforts to bring these issues to the forefront with hopes of securing justice for survivors and protecting Indigenous women. As a human rights organization, Amnesty International is joining their voice.

Thanks, again, and please feel free to contact me with further questions regarding the release of the report.

Amber- AIUSA

At April 04, 2007 9:14 PM, Anonymous Karin Manning said...

This isn't the first time that I've read stories about mistreatment of American Indian women. I've recently read an article about the forced sterilization of American Indian women. Here's the link to that article:

However, what I also found interesting is that the physical abuse is not limited to Native American women. Elder abuse is also a big problem. Here's the article if you or your readers are interested:

Keep up the good work and I hope you find these native american abuse articles interesting.


At April 25, 2007 11:35 AM, Anonymous Ladoña said...

I wanted to tell you about a report released by Amnesty International exposing the US government’s failure to protect Native American and Alaska Native women from shocking rates of rape. More than one in three Native women will be raped in their lifetimes.

The United States government has created a complex maze of tribal, state and federal jurisdictions that often allows perpetrators to rape with impunity -- and in some cases effectively creates jurisdictional vacuums that encourage assaults.

It is disgraceful that such abuse even exists today.


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