Jodi Rave: Violence against Native women rising

"While more than 17 million women have been raped in their life, according to a U.S. Department of Justice report for 2006, Native women reported the highest number of rapes of any racial or ethnic group in the United States - a rate 2.5 times higher than the national average.

The FBI reports that women in Alaska, New Mexico, South Dakota, Washington, Minnesota and Colorado are among the most-raped in the country. Each state has a significant population of Native women.

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.”

A reprieve from the violence seems distant. The 2005 Violence Against Women Act authorized Congress to spend $50 million annually on sexual assault services, which have never been funded.

Meanwhile, women's advocates agree assault rates continue to climb. Already, one in three Native women will be raped in their lifetime, according to a 1999 report from the Bureau of Justice.

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."

Get the Story:
Jodi Rave: Rapes against Native women on the rise (The Missoulian 3/11)

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