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A crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls


© Sarah Morris for Getty Images

Indigenous women and girls are disappeared or murdered each year at alarming rates in the United States. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that murder is the third-leading cause of death among Native American and Alaska Native women. 

  • More than 4 in 5 American Indian and Alaska Native Women have experienced violence in their lifetime. 
  • On some reservations, Native women face murder rates that are more than 10 times the national average. 
  • In 2016, there were 5,712 total missing Native women cases reported in the United States. This number is likely higher as cases are under-reported. 

The U.S. federal government does not keep data rates of violence and disappearances of Native American and Alaska Native women and girls. States and U.S. cities are also not adequately tracking this data, sometimes lacking basic classification options in their databases for Native American and Alaska Native women. The lack of data on this issue impedes the ability of communities, tribal nations, and policy makers to make informed decisions on how best to address this violence.

The United States must do more to address this crisis, starting with basic data collection and coordination across Tribal and federal agencies. Savanna’s Act does this. The Senate has passed Savanna’s Act, but it’s still waiting in the House (H.R.2733).