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Sexual Assault in Indian Country: Confronting Sexual Violence

General Material


"Addresses sexual assault in Indian Country by highlighting certain types of sexual assault evidence and by presenting it within the historical treatment of native populations, jurisdictional problems and the prevalence of violence."

It's first section highlights terms and abbreviations, prevalence, and population estimates of American Indian / Alaskan Native peoples who live in tribal nations on and contiguous to U.S. legislated land. The section, A Legacy of Peace Shattered, provides a historical perspective of the impact of colonialization, exploitation and racism as perpetrated by the U.S. government and its citizens. It discusses the national rate for reporting sexual assaults, why reporting is often difficult for native women, and provides examples of how record keeping of sexual assaults is poor and inconsistent.

The pamphlet describes the governance of Indian Country as "a jurisdictional maze": it covers the impact of the 1885 U.S. Major Crimes Act and the 1953 Public Law 280 as significant legal intrusions by the U.S. into Indian Country justice systems. It discusses the consequences of jurisdictional determination and overlap between U.S. federal and state entities, and the individual Tribal Nations. It illustrates the "inconsistent, irregular and uncoordinated nature of record keeping for sexual assaults" by presenting survey results on sexual assault record keeping by Native American STOP programs (Services, Training, Officers, Prosecutors programs funded by VAWA 1994).

It summarizes how these and other factors place Native American women at significant risk for sexual abuse from both "non-Indian and Indian" perpetrators and reminds that "non-Indians commit about 70% of the reported crimes against American Indians." Suggestions on Confronting Sexual Violence against Native American / Alaskan Natives are included.

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center serves as the nation's principle information and resource center regarding all aspects of sexual violence. It provides national leadership, consultation and technical assistance by generating and facilitating the development and flow of information on sexual violence intervention and prevention strategies. The NSVRC works to address the causes and impact of sexual violence through collaboration, prevention efforts and the distribution of resources.