American Indian women are voicing growing anger at what they call their disproportionate victimization in crimes of sexual assault, most often committed by non-Indians, says the New York Times. “Indian women suffer two and a half times more domestic violence, three and a half times more sexual assaults, and 17 percent will be stalked – and I'm a victim of all three,” said Pauline Musgrove, executive director of the Spirits of Hope Coalition, an advocacy group in Oklahoma. Amnesty International has asked Congress to extend tribal authority to all offenders on Indian land, not just Indians, and to expand federal spending on Indian law enforcement and health clinics.
In new report, the U.S. arm of Amnesty International said sexual violence against American Indians had grown out of a long history of “systematic and pervasive abuse and persecution.” The new federal budget proposed an increase of $16 million to aid Indian law enforcement agencies. With just over 4 million American Indian and Alaska Native people in 550 federally recognized tribes scattered over Indian and non-Indian lands throughout the U.S., jurisdictional questions often throw cases into limbo, Amnesty International found. The report cited Justice Department figures suggesting that more than one in three American Indian and Alaska Native women would be raped in their lifetime, almost double the national average of 18 percent.