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Sexual Assault in Indigenous Communities


In this section, you will find a collection of tools, information and resources on sexual assault within Indigenous communities.

  • Sexual assault has been identified as a public health crisis. Native American women in the United States who live on federal Native American reservations are disproportionately more likely to be victims of sexual violence than other groups living in the United States. Like many victims of sexual violence, often Native women deal with adverse health effects. Native American women who have been sexually assaulted on a reservation are often unable to access necessary resources because of a myriad of issues, such as poverty, child abuse, colonization, and complex jurisdictional issues. There must be more cultural sensitivity and increased awareness when working to address this issue. Additionally, each tribe must be approached separately because each tribe experiences sexual assault on the reservation differently. There must be understanding that generalizability of all Native American tribes and sexual assault is ineffective. Education, advocacy, and legislation are the major models for change.

  • “What To Do When You’re Raped” is an illustrated guide created to answer the questions women face following a sexual assault, from thinking through buying emergency contraception, to getting tested for STDS, to who to turn to for support. The ABC handbook was created as a response to the systematic sexual assault Native Women experience. Native Americans are raped at a rate nearly double that any other race annually – 34.1 percent. More than 1 in 3 Native American women will be raped in their lifetime, and three-fourths having experienced some type of sexual assault in their lives.

  • An Overview of Shelter and Advocacy Program Development Supporting Women's Sovereignty Domestic violence is a human rights issue as well as a criminal justice issue. This report presents a social change model that can be used to develop shelter and advocacy programs to combat domestic violence and establish the sovereignty of Native American women. The report is divided into three sections. The first section is entitled The Roots: Program Belief System, and is a discussion of the need to establish a philosophy and mission statement to combat domestic violence and support the sovereignty of women. The second section, The Trunk: Contributors, describes what needs to be done in the planning and development stage of establishing a grassroots advocacy program. The third section, The Branches: Response, discusses how advocacy programs can be used to bring about social change and work towards improving women’s safety and establishing women’s sovereignty.