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Native American women face high rate of sexual assaults

Native American women are twice as likely to be sexually assaulted as any other race, but successfully prosecuting assailants is harder in Indian country.... Read more»

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3 comments on this story

Dec 16, 2011, 9:02 am
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I dunno, aren’t things getting better?

I mean, with the advent of casinos, Native American nations are enjoying a new era of prosperity. Many nations, at least the ones around here, are wisely spending those dollars on upgrades for their communities, especially in the areas of law enforcement and medical clinics.

So while this story paints a gloomy picture that I don’t doubt was true at one time…if the situation isn’t fixed by now it soon will be.

Dec 16, 2011, 10:14 am
-0 +0

@Bret Linden

Given that nearly 20 percent of women in the U.S. are raped or suffer attempted rape at some point in their lives, and that it seems pretty easy for certain LEOs to not bother to even investigate rapes, I don’t know that things are getting better, or that throwing money at the problem is the sole solution.

Dec 16, 2011, 10:33 am
-0 +0

@Dylan Smith

Well, money isn’t the sole solution, but it does help, right? This story cites a lack of adequate resources on some Native American nations as one of the causes of the problem. Perhaps with upgrades to those resources rape victims would be more willing to report and prosecute. Perhaps I’m getting too hopeful with this next statement, but with more prosecutions perhaps future would-be rapists would be given a moment of pause with the knowledge that his chances of getting away with it are much less than they once were.

I am of the school of thought that increased prosecutions and convictions are a deterrent to others who might commit the same crimes. On a much smaller scale, I’ll use myself as an example. There have been a few people that I have legitimately wanted to punch a few times. However, I know that in today’s hyper-sensitive blame-the-wrong-person climate, combined with my physical stature, and past amateur boxing experience, I’d probably end up doing a little time if I chose to go through with punching the people who I thought deserved it.

I am in no way comparing punching a loud mouth with rape, just trying to make the point that examples made of others can indeed deter a future would-be assailant.

And, yes, more money for more resources for better enforcement is key to making that happen.

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Courtesy the Southwest Center for Law and Policy

Juanita Homer is one of the Tohono O’odham women trained to provide Safestar assistance and evidence collection to victims of sexual assaults on the nation’s lands.


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