One in three Native American or Alaska Native women will be raped at some point in their lives. Most do not seek justice because they know they will be met with inaction or indifference.
Barriers to justice
The majority of perpetrators go unpunished as many Indigenous women never report the abuse committed against them, while those who do report it find other barriers to justice. The US government has created a complex maze of federal, state and tribal authorities. As a consequence, Indigenous women are being denied justice.
Failure to act
The US authorities have not only failed to respond adequately to the threats faced by Indigenous women, but federal policies and practices have actually denied Native American and Alaska Native women protections available to other women in the USA.
Urgent action is needed to stop sexual violence against Indigenous women in the USA. But action must be shaped by understanding, not prejudice; by fact, not assumption. Indigenous women’s organizations and tribal authorities have brought forward concrete proposals to help stop the abuse against Indigenous women – but the federal government has failed to act.
First steps to stop the violence:
* The extent of the problem must be established through comprehensive data collection
* Adequate law enforcement and access to forensic examinations must be made available