Monday, July 25, 2011

American Indian Women Targeted

Statistics support the notion that crimes against American Indian Women are of epidemic proportions.  In fact, 1/3 of Native women will be raped in their lifetimes and nearly 3 out of 5 will be assaulted by a partner.

I frequently encounter questions about this population in regard to how crimes against women are handled within this sect of the population.  Questions about whether crimes are handled within the tribe or within larger government corrections are most frequently asked.  Currently, Justice Department officials are seeking greater purview over reservations. One of the primary reasons for this is that sentences on reservations would then more closely mirror the sentences offenders receive within state courts for committing the same offenses.

Similarly, changes in law would also allow tribes to prosecute both Native and non-Native offenders within their tribal courts.

Essentially, Congress is currently attempting to close several primary gaps within legislation.  It seems the proposed bill targets such things as protection order enforcement, partner violence, and sentencing. Check out this article for greater detail.

In the meantime, if you were surprised by the statistics presented above regarding the disproportionate amount of violence perpetrated against American Indian Women, I strongly encourage you to check out the book "Conquest" by Andrea Smith.

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