The rape epidemic in American indigenous communities.

Please check out this excellent op-ed from the Sunday Times about the lack of justice for women violently sexually assaulted in indigenous communities.
Some tidbits,

ONE in three American Indian women will be raped in their lifetimes, statistics gathered by the United States Department of Justice show.
The situation is unfair to Indian victims of all crimes — burglary, arson, assault, etc. But the problem is greatest in the realm of sexual violence because rapes and other sexual assaults on American Indian women are overwhelmingly interracial. More than 80 percent of Indian victims identify their attacker as non-Indian. (Sexual violence against white and African-American women, in contrast, is primarily intraracial.) And American Indian women who live on tribal lands are more than twice as likely to be raped or sexually assaulted as other women in the United States, Justice Department statistics show.
Rapes against American Indian women are also exceedingly violent; weapons are used at rates three times that for all other reported rapes.

They pretty much say it all.

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6 Comments

  1. Posted August 13, 2008 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    The statistics of violence in the aboriginal community have been public for some time now. When crime is committed against POC the media never reports on it. This reinforces the idea that our bodies are meant to be violated and exploited. Think about when the last time you saw a child of color who was missing get national coverage…It rarely never happens because our bodies are not valued.

  2. spike the cat
    Posted August 13, 2008 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Wow. I had no idea that there were different law enforcement entities to deal with crimes committed on tribal lands. How shameful for our country that these crimes virtually go unpunished because of a legacy of US Government action (and inaction).

  3. Skettio
    Posted August 13, 2008 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    I knew this girl that was Native American. The most absolute gorgeous thing I have ever seen–models in magazines, movie stars, television actors–never have I seen a more gorgeous girl than her.
    Last time I saw her she was 14.
    She had already been raped a few times.
    This statistic makes sense to me, but it still doesn’t make it ok. Everyday I feel so bad for her and I wonder where she is now. I just hope that she has managed to escape the cycle and get out, but I know that’s probably not the case.
    This just makes me sick.

  4. bcereo
    Posted August 14, 2008 at 1:48 am | Permalink

    Probably the best Women’s Studies course I have taken thus far has been WS 270: Indigenous Women’s Experiences. I am saying “best” in that it brought to light so many different things that I was completely ignorant to prior to taking this class, which was taught by one of the most amazing professors I have ever had. We discussed indigenous women of America, Hawaii, Australia, and New Zealand. It was an eye-opening experience, especially since we had so many guest speakers from all of the world. Women’s Studies, although usually having the best of intentions, has a hard time being completely inclusive, as with any subject or discipline. Although being very well versed in rights, history and theory, I had never given much thought to Indigenous women. There is so much I could say in regards to this post, but I will keep it short.
    First, Indigenous women are made to be a commodity. Think about the disney movie, Pocahontas. The main character is completely sexualized and made to look exotic and sexy, in other words, it is okay to be Indian as long as you fit in with society’s standard of beauty. Then, think about the connection between the indigenous woman and the land. Men from Europe go to America, or anywhere, to take the land, the virgin land, and make it theirs. This applies to the indigenous women there as well, they are there for the taking just as the land. See the connection? This is where the idea of the Indian princess, such as Tiger Lily and the Disney Pocahontas come from. In addition, it didn’t take long for the colonizers to realize that to truly defeat a nation, all the had to do was rape and dehumanize the women of the tribe… I guess this is all at the route of the information in the article… There is a Cherokee saying that goes something like this… A nation cannot truly be conquered until the hearts of women are on the ground.”

  5. gotoL
    Posted August 14, 2008 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    I have a personal story to contribute, but I cannot speak. Me: 13 years old. 4 old guys, Pahans all. Victim. Still suffering. Hate. Hate.

  6. luhuien
    Posted July 7, 2009 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

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