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DOJ failed to prosecute 65 percent of Indian Country rape cases

The Department of Justice failed to prosecute 65 percent of rape cases on reservations in 2011, The New York Times reports.

Arrests are made in just 13 percent of cases reported by American Indian, the paper said. In comparison, the arrest rate for rapes reported by African-American women was 35 percent and for White women it was 32 percent.

In some states, Indian women are victimized at extremely disproportionate rates. In South Dakota, they accounted for 40 percent of sexual assaults and in Alaska, they accounted for 61 percent.

Despite high rates of victimization, Indian women are being urged not to report sexual assaults. “I feel bad saying that,” Sarah Deer, a law professor at William Mitchell College of Law in Minnesota, told the paper. “But it compounds the trauma if you are willing to stand up and testify and they can’t help you.”

Get the Story:
For Native American Women, Scourge of Rape, Rare Justice (The New York Times 5/23)

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