April 01, 2014

Slaying The Minotaur

By J. Matthew Martin

In the United States, we are accustomed to Amnesty International reporting the most horrific sorts of human rights abuses in the most far-flung corners of the world. But when Amnesty International issued a report in 2006 on the disgraceful epidemic of sexual violence against Native Americans living in Indian Country1 in the United States, many of us were stunned to learn that conditions that they might have associated with the developing world existed in their own backyards.2

The statistics alone are chilling. Native American women are more than 2.5 times more likely to be sexually assaulted than women in general in the United States.3 More than one in three American Indian women will be raped in their lifetimes.4 Evidence suggests that sexual assault in Indian Country is accompanied by a significantly increased likelihood of additional physical violence.5 Thirty-nine percent of Native American women will be subjected to domestic violence in their lifetimes.6 “The rate of violent victimization of American Indian women is more than double that among other women in the United States.”7

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