Jana Walker: Protecting Native women from violent crime

"The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples signals a new means to change federal law and policy to restore safety to Native women, to strengthen Indian nations and advance their jurisdiction over crimes within their territories, and to end the cycle of violence in Native communities.

The right to be safe and live free from violence is one of the most fundamental and important human rights recognized internationally. It is a right that many in the United States simply take for granted, but not Native women, who are two-and-a-half times more likely to be assaulted and more than twice as likely to be stalked than other women in this country. Unless you live in an Indian community, you may find it unimaginable that one in three Native women will be raped in her lifetime, and six in ten will be physically assaulted. Unlike any other group of women in the United States, the overwhelming majority−some 88%−of Native women identify their attackers as non-Indian. On some reservations, the murder rate for Native women is ten times the national average. Yet, underreporting means these numbers are likely much higher. Domestic and sexual violence against an individual also has devastating effects on entire families, communities, and Indian nations."

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Jana L. Walker: Using the UN Declaration to End the Epidemic of Violence Against Native Women (Turtle Talk 2/1)

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