Addressing Epidemic of Sexual Violence Against Native Women in US

This past Thursday, Amnesty’s Sarah Deer testified before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hearing on protecting native women in the US.

Deer, a Native women’s advocate and member of Amnesty USA’s Native American and Alaska Native Advisory Council, addressed the safety and justice challenges native women in the United States face as documented by our 2007 Maze of Injustice report.

Our report revealed that 1 in 3 Native American and Alaskan Native women will be raped in her lifetime. Native women are also 2.5 times more likely to be raped than non-Native women in the US with nearly 86% of rapes perpetrated by non-Native men.  Widespread human rights abuses within the judicial system and the maze of the complex interrelation of federal, state, and tribal jurisdictions often allows perpetrators to act with impunity and evade justice.

Deer also shared shocking new information on the sex trafficking of Native women with hearing participants.  Chaired by Senator Akaka (D-HI), the hearing was also attended by Vice-Chairman Barrasso (R-WY), Senator Murkowski (R-AK), Senator Udall (D-NM), and Senator Franken (D-MN), who personally introduced Sarah and thanked Amnesty USA for our activism and commitment to protecting women.

The hearing included a wide range of witnesses who provided insight on the causes and consequences of violence and discrimination against Native women. Hearings like this one are an essential first step to truly understanding the complexity and depth of some of the issues facing Native women, and only by working in partnership with those on the ground can Congress expect to make lasting change.

President Obama signs Tribal Law and Order Act

While the 2010 passage of the Tribal Law and Order Act will begin to address long-term standing disparities between the justice systems on tribal lands – much more remains to be done.

The US government must use the recently endorsed UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a framework for addressing and upholding the rights of Indigenous communities in the US – and Congress must ensure that full and timely implementation of legislation such as TLOA continues to be a priority.

From improving justice and victim advocate services, to ensuring that a survivor of sexual assault is able to access timely and adequate healthcare services, Congress must work to ensure that the historic discrimination and disparities that American Indian and Alaska Native women face are reversed and addressed immediately.

This epidemic of violence must end, and we have the power to do it. Check out the Women’s Human Rights page on our site to see how you can take action!

AIUSA welcomes a lively and courteous discussion that follow our Community Guidelines. Comments are not pre-screened before they post but AIUSA reserves the right to remove any comments violating our guidelines.

10 thoughts on “Addressing Epidemic of Sexual Violence Against Native Women in US

  1. Dear Ms Chang,

    The numbers you cite are terrible …… & bloodboiling.

    Just last evening during my studies i came across an account by a LIVING white historian reminiscing about his childhood.

    He says Indian women in the Western regions in those so very recent days would be considered legitimate "prey" for rape by white men who came across them.

    One woman he remembered his dad & his white pals talking about.

    As she was about to be lassoed by one of their mutual friends, she quickly squatted down & rubbed sand into her genitals, foiling the rapist.

    His dad & his circle of adults found the whole incident hilarious.

    This is the "pioneer" culture that molds America, & which the whites still boast about, preserve, & reincarnate.

  2. It is always right to raise voice against the wrong doings. If we , general people do not raise our voices, the things will not going to change.So we have to protest.
    I have thought of raising voice against this activities by launching a website on the security of women around the world where women round the world can leave their opinion and the world can see that . My website is under construction. Msoft Technologies, a multinational company who gives quality PHP, MySQL, LAMP, AJAX services at very affordable cost is making the website.

  3. Dear Ms Chang,

    The numbers you cite are terrible …… & bloodboiling.

    Just last evening during my studies i came across an account by a LIVING white historian reminiscing about his childhood.

    He says Indian women in the Western regions in those so very recent days would be considered legitimate “prey” for rape by white men who came across them.

    One woman he remembered his dad & his white pals talking about.

    As she was about to be lassoed by one of their mutual friends, she quickly squatted down & rubbed sand into her genitals, foiling the rapist.

    His dad & his circle of adults found the whole incident hilarious.

    This is the “pioneer” culture that molds America, & which the whites still boast about, preserve, & reincarnate.

  4. It is always right to raise voice against the wrong doings. If we , general people do not raise our voices, the things will not going to change.So we have to protest.
    I have thought of raising voice against this activities by launching a website on the security of women around the world where women round the world can leave their opinion and the world can see that . My website is under construction. Msoft Technologies, a multinational company who gives quality PHP, MySQL, LAMP, AJAX services at very affordable cost is making the website.

  5. Dear Ms Chang …

    Native women ….

    Rarely seen in america's mass culture products, for which i am , believe me, thankful …

    Better invisible than misrepresented ( raped in all senses !! ) !!

    Better invisible from that colonial gaze ….

    But still behind the retina …

    Apparently popular Western, "Appaloosa", Ed Harris directs, him playing town marshall in 19th century Occupied Apacheria.

    He goes for Rene Zellweiger as frontier woman … a WHITE woman on the Godless frontier !! representative of "Culture" Itself !!! …. here's how he explains himself to his white male partner :

    "Never saw a woman like her. Mostly been with whores & the squaw lady I told you about. She speaks well, dresses fine, cooks good. Takes a bath before going to bed."

    "Whores & the squaw lady."

    The linkage.

    "Squaw lady" — casual term casts aside a person with veiled derision.

    Wouldn't think one had really been with the person, the way the term struggles to stand.

    Squaw lady …. a name whose lack of any grounding in the colonized world takes away all "place" from her, denying her place while robbing hers & appropriating it.

    Native woman still as the frontier's outcaste.

  6. Dear Ms Chang …

    Native women ….

    Rarely seen in america’s mass culture products, for which i am , believe me, thankful …

    Better invisible than misrepresented ( raped in all senses !! ) !!

    Better invisible from that colonial gaze ….

    But still behind the retina …

    Apparently popular Western, “Appaloosa”, Ed Harris directs, him playing town marshall in 19th century Occupied Apacheria.

    He goes for Rene Zellweiger as frontier woman … a WHITE woman on the Godless frontier !! representative of “Culture” Itself !!! …. here’s how he explains himself to his white male partner :

    “Never saw a woman like her. Mostly been with whores & the squaw lady I told you about. She speaks well, dresses fine, cooks good. Takes a bath before going to bed.”

    “Whores & the squaw lady.”

    The linkage.

    “Squaw lady” — casual term casts aside a person with veiled derision.

    Wouldn’t think one had really been with the person, the way the term struggles to stand.

    Squaw lady …. a name whose lack of any grounding in the colonized world takes away all “place” from her, denying her place while robbing hers & appropriating it.

    Native woman still as the frontier’s outcaste.

  7. Sad. We need to value the women of our country, with particular care and protection given to Native American, African American, and Hispanic Women. So many women in our country have been sexually abused that it has become sort of a "shoulder shrug" part of growing up. The consequences are devastating to the person, mainly in mood and spirit, but also in immeasurable shifts of the trajectory of the woman's life… If our Mothers, Sisters, and Daughters were valued, protected, respected….

  8. Sad. We need to value the women of our country, with particular care and protection given to Native American, African American, and Hispanic Women. So many women in our country have been sexually abused that it has become sort of a “shoulder shrug” part of growing up. The consequences are devastating to the person, mainly in mood and spirit, but also in immeasurable shifts of the trajectory of the woman’s life… If our Mothers, Sisters, and Daughters were valued, protected, respected….

  9. Violence against women is common among all races, class, and genders. We need to stand up against this violence and protect each other. Sex slavery is continually swept under the rug, and will continued to be swept under the rug until we bring it to the forefront of things. Over 12.3 million adults and children are sold into sex slavery each year; that is almost equivalent to the size of Utah! This is a growing problem and it can no longer can go unnoticed. I'm glad we have advocates like Deer, who are bringing these issues into the light.

  10. Violence against women is common among all races, class, and genders. We need to stand up against this violence and protect each other. Sex slavery is continually swept under the rug, and will continued to be swept under the rug until we bring it to the forefront of things. Over 12.3 million adults and children are sold into sex slavery each year; that is almost equivalent to the size of Utah! This is a growing problem and it can no longer can go unnoticed. I’m glad we have advocates like Deer, who are bringing these issues into the light.