Indigenous women suffer disproportionately high levels of rape and sexual violence. Data collected by the Department of Justice (DOJ) indicates that Native American and Alaska Native women are more than 2.5 times more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted than women in the USA in general. The DOJ found that 34.1 per cent of American Indian and Alaska Native women – or more than one in three – will be raped during their lifetimes, compared to one in five in the United States overall.
The extreme levels of sexual violence make it critical that Indian Health Services adopts standardized, written sexual assault protocols which also ensure that Native American and Alaska Native women have unrestricted access to Emergency Contraception.
The Tribal Law and Order Act, passed into law in 2010, requires Indian Health Services to develop standardized sexual assault policies and protocol for the facilities of the Service.
Although the protocols have been developed, the problem continues because implementation of the protocols has not been mandatory. As a result, treatment of sexual assault survivors has been inconsistent and resulted in violations of their human rights under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, as well as other human rights instruments to which the United States is a party.
The lack of implementation of standardized sexual assault protocols is leaving Indigenous women at risk and contributes to violations of their human right to health and non-discrimination. Read more >