One in three Native women will be raped in their lifetime, and three in five will be physically assaulted. Native women are more than twice as likely to be stalked than other women and, even worse, Native women are being murdered at a rate ten times the national average. Due to under-reporting, the actual numbers are almost certainly higher. While data on violence against Native girls is sorely lacking, a recent national survey found violence against Native girls may be disproportionately high as well.
The Center’s Safe Women, Strong Nations project partners with Native women’s organizations and Indian and Alaska Native nations to end violence against Native women and children. Our project:
- raises awareness to gain strong federal action to end violence against Native women and children;
- provides legal advice to Native women’s organizations and Indian nations on ways to restore tribal criminal authority; and
- helps Indian and Alaska Native nations and Native women’s organizations increase their capacity to prevent violence and to hold perpetrators of violence on their lands accountable.
Violence against Native women has reached epidemic levels in Indian country and Alaska Native villages. Today, Native women face rates of sexual violence and physical assault that are 2½ times higher than violence against any other group of women in the United States−levels now on a par with estimates of violence against women globally.
Statistics define the scale of the problem, but do nothing to convey the experience of the epidemic. They tell part of the story, but fail to account for the devastating impacts this violence has on the survivors, Indian families, Native communities, and Indian nations themselves. Nevertheless, the statistics make absolutely clear that violence against Native women is a crisis that cannot wait to be addressed. More must be done to restore safety to Native women and children and to help Indian nations address the appalling cycle of violence in Native communities. The time is now.