Law | Opinion

Editorial: End the cycle of violence against Native women and girls

The cover art for the report, Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women and Men. Illustration by Sam English via National Institute of Justice

New Mexico newspaper calls attention to the high rates of violence against Native women in the wake of the tragic death of 11-year-old Ashlynne Mike on the Navajo Nation:
The statistics are numbing:

Four of five American Indian and Alaskan Native women have experienced violence.

More than half have experienced sexual violence, and they are 2½ times more likely to be sexually assaulted than women of all other races.

More than one in three have experienced violence in the past year.

Young Ashlynne Mike wasn’t a woman yet, but at the tender age of 11 she suffered the same sexual violence those statistics represent. The sexual assault she endured and her violent death early this month on the Navajo reservation are heartbreaking.

Federal investigators said Tom Begaye Jr., 27, a Navajo man who also lived on the reservation, admitted offering Ashlynne a ride with the intention of having sex with her, then sexually assaulting her before delivering fatal blows to her head with a tire iron.

The incidence of domestic violence and sexual abuse visited upon Native American women and children, especially those who live on tribal lands, is staggering.

Get the Story:
Editorial: End the circle of violence against Native women (The Albuquerque Journal 5/15)

Also Today:
Task force to combat human trafficking (The Albuquerque Journal 5/14)
Ashlynne Mike's father thanks the community (The Farmington Daily-Times 5/13)
Sex assault all too common on tribal lands (The Albuquerque Journal 5/8)

National Institute of Justice Report:
Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women and Men (May 2016)

Indian Law and Order Commission Report:
A Roadmap For Making Native America Safer (November 2013)

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