US Attorney: Combating sexual assault in Indian Country

"As South Dakota’s United States Attorney, each week I review new cases of sexual assault from across our state. The reported crimes that cross my desk include rape, incest, child sexual abuse, and human trafficking.

The number of these cases that we investigate on an annual basis is alarming but should not be surprising. We know that approximately 19 million women and three million men in the United States have been the victim of at least one sexual assault.

Today, you will likely cross paths with someone who has been the victim of a sexual assault. Sexual violence is a complex crime affecting every community in South Dakota. It has no boundaries in terms of gender, geography, race, ethnicity, economic class, or sexual orientation.

But we also know that South Dakota is home to some of the most high risk communities when it comes to sexual assault. For example, each female Native American baby born in the United States has a 1 in 3 chance of being sexually assaulted in her lifetime.

In an effort to reduce this sort of violence, the South Dakota United States Attorney’s Office is planning the state’s second statewide Tribal Listening Conference. This event will be devoted exclusively to addressing violence against women. Its purpose will be to strengthen South Dakota’s cooperative relationships among agencies and officials at the state, federal, and tribal levels."

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US Attorney Brendan Johnson: Fighting sexual assault (The Mitchell Daily Republic 4/26)

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Timothy Purdon: Stopping violence against Indian women (4/18)

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