Kirk Porter
4-17-2011
AmIn 210
Introduction to Native American Indian Women and Rape


Well rape is a very unattractive word for the Native American Indian women because it is a reoccurring event that happens to most of them. It is not a shocking fact that if a person asked most women on the Indian Reservations if they have had to deal with rape, most would answer with yes they have. This is very unfortunate especially when you can look at all the other ethnic groups throughout the world and they don’t have near the amounts of problems as do the Native American women. After looking up this research I have to the conclusion that one in three American Indian women are raped during some point of their life. I found this to be shocking because not a single other ethnic group was even close to that based on the research that I have conducted.
Also, American women already have a tough time being on the reservations whether it be money, politics, or any other difficult events that happen. Thus, rape shouldn’t have to be a main problem because they have already have too much on their plates to deal with especially the government. I basically think it’s a little ridiculous that this is happening to so many American Indians and that something needs to change.



Why I believe Native American Indian Women are More Likely to Be Raped in Their Lifetime



Now, let’s move on to why I believe that Native American women are at the most risk of being raped based off of my research. My first overall belief is that the police forces and government officials such as judges don’t care enough about the poor Native American women who are getting sexually abused. I found numerous stories that discussed about how the family would turn in the evidence to the law enforcement and then nothing would ever happen to it or it would get “lost.” This goes to show how corrupt the people with all the money really are towards the unfortunate people. I found it pathetic that the court systems don’t like dealing with rape because it’s not on the level of other crimes that occur on the reservations. I tend to think rape is a rather big crime to deal with especially since it seems to be a huge concern for the women that are living on the different reservations around the United States.
I also believe everyone should deserve a fair trial, no matter what color, race, or religion group they belong to. So, I think the police force and court systems need to rearrange their priorities otherwise the facts will become even worse and it could lead to having a ratio of every Native American women being involved with rape. I would like to see theses staggering statistics to take a total nose dive and start going the other way.

Another big reason I think the Native American women are so more likely to get raped is that they are too silent about what happens to them. I read numerous stories on how most Native American women are very quiet about the rape because they don’t want to cause stress or feel like burden to their families. So, what I think they should do is start being more vocal and explain to their families that rape isn’t a good thing and things need to change. I believe if the women got more vocal the number of incidents would slowly go down. I also know that the government and law enforcement would have to get on board as well. If the women were more vocal but not getting any benefits the whole idea would be worthless. So basically overall I strongly believe that the law enforcement and courts need to change the rules and start worrying more about the staggering facts about the Native American women who are becoming victims of rape.


Conclusion



In conclusion, I got a much greater understanding of what the Native American women have to go through when it comes to rape. Obviously the upper people who have all of the power do not have their heads or hearts in the right area because I guarantee if any of the women in their family were to be raped they would make sure it is taken care of in a heartbeat. I think that the law enforcers and court people should take time and put themselves into the shoes of the Native American women, and I believe they would have a change in heart towards rape in the end.
I think the one in three women is a very high number to have to deal with and things will definitely to change because otherwise it will only get worse. The Native American women who are becoming more vocal about the subject, I believe have started to be more successful in getting things done on cases that involve rape. Just look at past history, when enough people complain about a particular item, the government tries to alter rules and laws so that they don’t have the people constantly down their backs. All in all I think things do need to change for the Native American women especially when it comes to rape. There is no way any women should be treated the way the Native American women are being treated because it just isn’t fair at all!
References

1.) Sullivan, Laura. "Lawmakers Move To Curb Rape On Native Lands : NPR." NPR : National Public Radio : News & Analysis, World, US, Music & Arts : NPR. 3 May 2009. Web. 14 Apr. 2011. <http://www.npr.org/templates/ story/story.php?storyId= 103717296>.

In this article health care is discussed about because the government has to decide on how much money to give the Native Americans for their health care. But it also says that roughly 1 out of 3 women will most likely be raped sometime throughout their life. A problem with this number is that the government doesn't think rape is a big deal compared to other crimes that the Reservations have to deal with within their communities.

2.) Empsall, Nathan. "Stopping Rape in Indian Country." MyDD :: Direct Democracy for People-Powered Politics. 17 Aug. 2008. Web. 14 Apr. 2011. <http://mydd.com/2008/8/17/ stopping-rape-in-indian- country>.

This article discusses about a student who is going to focus on rape in American Indians with a professor by the name of Professor Duthu. Also the OpED is discussed about in blue sections, which deals with the jurisdictions of the American Indian's court systems.

3.) Sullivan, Jamie. "Sexual Violence Against Native American Women." 2 Dec. 2007. Web. 14 Apr. 2011. <sophia.smith.edu/.../ SexualViolenceagainstNativeAme ricanWomenbyJamieSullivan.doc> .

This is a word document created by a student who did some research on the topic of rape and American Indians. The student who wrote this makes good points on maybe why the Native American Indian women are sexually abused.

4.) Hamby, Sherry. "Sexual Victimization in Indian Country: Barriers and Resources for Native Women Seeking Help." VAWnet | The National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women. 2011. Web. 14 Apr. 2011. <http://www.vawnet.org/print- document.php?doc_id=420>.

In this article Sherry Hamby discusses about sexual abuse with Native American women and how so few women look for outside help. Hamby also discusses that some tribal memberships allow women to get help if they have been sexually abused.

5.) Fears, Darryl, and Kari Lydersen. "Native American Women Face High Rape Rate, Report Says - Washingtonpost.com." The Washington Post: National, World & D.C. Area News and Headlines - Washingtonpost.com. 26 Apr. 2007. Web. 14 Apr. 2011. <http://www.washingtonpost. com/wp-dyn/content/article/ 2007/04/25/AR2007042502778. html>.

This specific article discusses about the jurisdiction of the American Indian courts. It primarily states that the American Indian courts can not have jurisdiction over any non-Indian. This creates a problem with rape especially because it means that the non-Indians, who are raping the American Indians, can get off free.

6.) "Background on Maze of Injustice." Amnesty International USA - Protect Human Rights. 2008. Web. 14 Apr. 2011. <http://www.amnestyusa.org/ violence-against-women/maze- of-injustice/background-on- maze-of-injustice/page.do?id= 1021170>.

This particular article is produced by the Amnesty International organization. It discusses about both Native Americans and Alaska Native women and how poorly they are treated. After reading this it seems like no one really cares about how the women of these cultures are getting treated.

7.) Bachman, Ronet, Heather Zaykowski, Rachel Kallmyer, Margarita Poteyeva, and Christina Lanier. "Violence Against American Indians and Alaska Native Women and the Criminal Justice Response: What Is Known." Aug. 2008. Web. 14 Apr. 2011. <http://www.ncjrs.gov/ pdffiles1/nij/grants/223691. pdf>.

This is a rather long pdf file that is 168 pages long that discusses about the justice system towards the Native American and Alaska Native women. This file has 18 different chapters that discuss various areas that the women get mistreated by the justice system.

8.) "Student Advocate Program." St. Lawrence University. 6 Apr. 2011. Web. 14 Apr. 2011. <http://www.stlawu.edu/ advocates/women_of_color_ stats.php>.

This article not only deals with American Indians but with African Americans, whites, and Asian-Americans. It states that Native American women are more likely to report when they are raped or sexually abused.

9.) "Rape-Related Posttraumatic Stress Disorder." The National Center For Victims of Crime. 2009. Web. 14 Apr. 2011. <http://www.ncvc.org/ncvc/ main.aspx?dbName= DocumentViewer&DocumentID= 32366>.

In this article, posttraumatic stress disorder is discussed especially with women who have been sexually abused or raped. It basically gives an outline of what happens when any women, not just American Indians are raped.

10.) "Who Are the Victims? | RAINN | Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network." RAINN | Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network | RAINN: The Nation's Largest Anti-sexual Assault Organization.One of “America’s 100 Best Charities" —Worth Magazine. 2009. Web. 14 Apr. 2011. <http://www.rainn.org/get- information/statistics/sexual- assault-victims>.
Several statistics are posted on this website about the victims of rape including men as well. But, I found it interesting that the percent of American Indian women who are raped is nowhere close to other ethnicities.

11.) Rachel. "Justice Department Forms Task Force on Violence Against American Indian Women." Our Bodies Our Blog. 2 Mar. 2011. Web. 14 Apr. 2011. <http://www.ourbodiesourblog. org/blog/2011/03/justice- department-forms-task-force- on-violence-against-american- indian-women>.

This article pertains to the increase of help with the Department of Justice and the violence occurring to Native Americans. The author of this article is rather skeptical about the whole deal because anyone can see in the past that not much help has been given to Native Americans and their abuse problems.

12.) "Native Women, Native Trans People, & Two Spirit People." 12 Sept. 2008. Web. 14 Apr. 2011. <http://www.incite-national. org/media/docs/5676_ toolkitrev-native.pdf>.

This specific document gives out some real life occurrences with the law and Native Americans. Most of these stories tell just how brutal the law enforcement officers treat the Native Americans. This is a sad topic, but I think since there isn't much help for the Natives, that rape is committed continually within this culture.

13.) Rave, Jodi. "Rape of Native American Women." Hatak Ikhana Halito. 2008. Web. 14 Apr. 2011. <http://firebearsplace.com/ rape.htm>.

This particular site discusses about Native American women and how they blame themselves for the rape instead of blaming the person(s) who actually initiated it. The author of this article tells about a lady who told the authorities about her rape case and in the end it helped heal some of the pain inside of her.

14.) Blumenthal, Ralph. "American Indian Women Are Rising Up Against Mistreatment." New York Times. New York TImes, 25 Apr. 2007. Web. 14 Apr. 2011. <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/ 04/25/world/americas/25iht- indians.4.5438896.html>.

In this New York Times article, it discusses about the movement of Cherokee women trying to fight the rule about not being able to charge non-Indians who rape their women. The Native American women are getting very tired of fighting this battle because they basically are getting nowhere as of now. This is definitely a huge problem with our law enforcement.

15.) "Rape Cases On Indian Lands Go Uninvestigated : NPR." NPR : National Public Radio : News & Analysis, World, US, Music & Arts : NPR. 25 July 2007. Web. 14 Apr. 2011. <http://www.npr.org/templates/ story/story.php?storyId= 12203114>.
This specific article tells a story about a girl who was raped by more than one guy. The guys locked her in a bathroom while the girl found pills in a cabinet, hoping that the pills would knock her out so she didn’t have to feel anything. This story was turned into the police and not a single investigation was conducted about this whole deal.

16.) "Domestic Violence in American Indian Women." American Indian Health Central. 2009. Web. 14 Apr. 2011. <http://aihc1998.tripod.com/ violence.html>.

This article gives various statistics about the domestic abuse and rape of American Indian women. Some of the percentages are just staggering especially when compared to all the other ethnicities. Something definitely needs to change in order to lower the percentages of American Indian women who are abused.

17.) Bhungalia, Lisa. "Native American Women and Violence." National Organization for Women (NOW). 2001. Web. 14 Apr. 2011. <http://www.now.org/nnt/ spring-2001/nativeamerican. html>.

The author of this article talks about how Native American women have a much greater chance of dealing with violence, not just rape but other forms of violence. The author gives yet another example of how poorly the police treat the Native American women. The way these ladies are treated is very aggravating, and I hope someone can get some change in this area.

18.) Lowen, Linda. "Native American Women and Rape - An Escalating Crisis on Tribal Lands." Women's Issues - All About Women's Issues. 1 July 2010. Web. 14 Apr. 2011. <http://womensissues.about. com/b/2010/06/01/native- american-women-and-rape-an- escalating-crisis-on-tribal- lands.htm>.

The author Linda Lowen discusses with us that rape is creating more and more problems with the Native American Indians. Some of the examples that are giving throughout this article are rather disturbing. The things that men do to these poor girls even young ones is just plain wrong.

19.) "The Failing State of Native American Women’s Health: Interview with Charon Asetoyer." Center for American Progress. 16 May 2007. Web. 14 Apr. 2011. <http://www.americanprogress. org/issues/2007/05/charon_ asetoyer.html>.

This is yet another article that discusses how few resources the Native American women receive in order to stay healthy and safe. The Indian Health Service is also not doing a very good job at keeping up with all of the women which has caused some problems.

20.) DiBranco, Alex. "Idaho Bill Addresses Lawlessness That Allows Rape of Native American Women." Change.org News. 4 Mar. 2010. Web. 14 Apr. 2011. <http://news.change.org/ stories/idaho-bill-addresses- lawlessness-that-allows-rape- of-native-american-women>.
The author brings up a good question which is if you were in a foreign country a person would have to follow their laws. But, on the reservations not all people have to follow the rules especially non-Indians. This just doesn't make sense at all!