Opinion: Violence against Native women rising

"Domestic violence affects American-Indian women at a higher rate than any other group in the United States. This is not our tradition.

Historically, Cherokee women were held in high esteem, and violence among our people was dealt with harshly. Our tribe has experienced escalating rates of domestic violence in our communities throughout modern times, and as more and more people of differing cultural backgrounds come into our community, conflict will continue to rise.

In recent publications by Amnesty International and the Wall Street Journal, the problems dealing with offenders in American-Indian communities have been outlined and discussed. Jurisdictional issues are paramount to many of the complications Native law enforcement face, but there are also cultural differences that come into play. Cultural differences in the relationships of family and the potential economic impact of domestic violence play apart in the determination to report abuse. There is also an emotional toll taken on the community when perpetrators reach trial. "

Get the Story:
Lynne Harlan: Violence against women a modern scourge in tribes (The Asheville Citizen-Times 10/26)

Amnesty International Report:
Full Report | Press Release

Online Discussion:
Violence against Native American and Alaska Native Women (April 24, 2007)

Relevant Links:
Join Voices with Native American and Alaska Native Women and Take Action to Stop the Violence - http://www.amnestyusa.org/maze

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