Women are the anchors of society and the centers of their families. They are life-givers, nurturers, mediators, and teachers. Women are the keepers of knowledge and pass down the traditions from one generation to the next.

What better way of strengthening Native communities than to protect and value the Native American woman? One major issue preventing the healthy resurgence of some Native communities is the violence perpetrated against female members. American Indian and Alaska Native women in the U.S. suffer the most, because of a systemic breakdown encompassing poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, loss of traditional society, and disconnection from family; not to mention ill-defined boundaries between state and tribal law enforcement jurisdictions. The abuse takes the form of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and murder…and human trafficking.

According to federal statistics, Native American and Alaska Native women are more than 2.5 times more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted than other women in the US.[1] Reports have come from Minnesota and South Dakota that Native American girls “have been trafficked into prostitution, pornography, and strip shows over state lines and internationally into Mexico.”[2]

Tribal leaders and community members must make the safety of Native women and girls a priority. The Violence Against Women Federal and Tribal Prosecution Task Force is one example of both Native American and non-Native organizations partnering to end sexual assault and generate awareness about the trafficking of Native American women and girls.



[1] http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/issues/women-s-rights/violence-against-women/maze-of-injustice

[2] Shattered Hearts: The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of American Indian Women and Girls in Minnesota, November 2009, http://www.miwrc.org/shattered_hearts_full_report-web_version.pdf

 

WAYS YOU CAN HELP

Are you or someone you know in need of help?

Hotlines
National Domestic Violence Hotline1-800-799-SAFE (7233)1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN)1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline1-866-331-94741-866-331-8453 (TTY)
National Center for Victims of Crime,Stalking Resource Center1-800-394-22551-800-211-7996 (TTY)
Trafficking Hotline1-888-3737-888

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GET INVOLVED

Start By Believing

When someone comes to you…..what will your reaction be?

Public awareness campaign focused on the public response to sexual assault

http://www.startbybelieving.org/

Children of The Night

Rescuing America’s Children From Prostitution

http://www.childrenofthenight.org

Polaris Project

Combating human trafficking and modern-day slavery

http://www.polarisproject.org/

The Voices and Faces Project

National documentary project created to give voice and face to survivors of sexual violence

http://www.voicesandfaces.org/

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)

Anti-sexual assault organization working with local rape crisis centers across the U.S.

www.rainn.org

VDAY: A Global Movement to End Violence Against Women and Girls Worldwide

http://www.vday.org

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MORE INFORMATION

Tribal Justice & Safety

http://www.justice.gov/tribal/

Violence Against Women Federal and Tribal Prosecution Task Force

Department of Justice: Office on Violence Against Women

http://www.ovw.usdoj.gov/section904-taskforce.html

http://www.ovw.usdoj.gov/tribal.html

Garden of Truth: The Prostitution and Trafficking of Native Women in Minnesota

http://www.miwsac.org/images/stories/garden%20of%20truth%20final%20project%20web.pdf


[1] http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/issues/women-s-rights/violence-against-women/maze-of-injustice

[2] Shattered Hearts: The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of American Indian Women and Girls in Minnesota, November 2009, http://www.miwrc.org/shattered_hearts_full_report-web_version.pdf