Amnesty International USA: “16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence”

Amnesty International USA is calling attention to the unacceptable treatment currently received by Native American and Alaska Native rape survivors:

During the 16 days between November 25th, International Day against Violence against Women, and December 10th, International Human Rights Day, the call to eliminate all forms of violence against women will reach a fever pitch. Women’s rights advocates from around the world will be taking action to highlight the violation of women’s rights as an abuse of human rights.

The violence in the U.S. against Indigenous women is particularly astounding. Sexual violence against Native American and Alaska Native women is 2.5 times more likely to occur in comparison to other women in the U.S. However, IHS facilities often lack access to the very basic services provided to victims of rape such as testing for sexually-transmitted infection, pregnancy testing, emergency contraception, and culturally-appropriate support services. Furthermore, our Maze of Injustice report discovers that many IHS facilities are not clinically or educationally equipped to handle the trauma linked to rape and sexual assault.

During the “16 Days” of action, demand that the IHS:

  • Provides free access to sexual assault examinations, known as “rape kits”

  • Adopts and implements standardized policies for treating survivors of rape and sexual assault developed in coordination with Indigenous women’s rights defenders

  • Conducts all examinations by well-trained sexual assault nurse professionals
Click here to take action at the Amnesty website.

See also:

Non-Indian Men Raping American Indian Women in Large Numbers
In “Failure to Protect”, the Summer 2007 issue of Amnesty International magazine reports that American Indian and Alaska Native women are 2.5 times more likely to suffer a rape or sexual assault than the general US female population. Moreover, “at least 86 percent of the men who commit sexual violence against Native Americans and Alaska Native women are non-Indian–the vast majority being white men–a marked contrast to sexual violence data on other ethnic groups showing that perpetrators gnerally belong to the same ethnic group as victims…

“…one in three Indigenous women will be raped in her lifetime…

“Among the general population, violence against women is underreported because of concen over breaches in confidentiality, fear of retaliation and a lack of confidence that reporting a crime will lead to justice.”

For Native women, an additional problem is a lack of police protection. “According to the US Department of Justice, tribes now operate with only 55 to 75 percent of the law enforcement resources available to comparable non-Native rural communities.”

Predators have discovered they can molest Native women with near impunity. “…[A]necdotal evidence suggests the vast majority [of cases of sexual violence against Native women] are not prosecuted… [A]t all stages and levels of federal and state courts, Indigenous survivors of sexual violence face prejudice and discrimination that influence decisions about whether to prosecute cases, how prosecutors present survivors during trials, how juries are selected and how they formulate decisions.”

Fourth Annual Mayor Higgins’ Hot Chocolate Run
We encourage folks to turn out for Northampton’s Fourth Annual Mayor Higgins’ Hot Chocolate Run on December 1. The proceeds will benefit Safe Passage, which serves women, children and families affected by domestic violence.

Choose from a 5K Road Race or a two-mile walk through downtown Northampton. The event begins at The People’s Institute, 38 Gothic Street. Start time is 9:30am for walkers, 10:00am for runners. The first 2,500 registered participants will receive a mug. Advance registration is $16 for individuals, $40 for families and $12 for students. Last year over 1,700 people participated. The event will take place rain or shine.

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Robert Jensen: When Examining Complex Social Phenomena, Scientific Method Has Limits; Listen to the Stories of the Victims (explicit language)
Ms. X, a Native American woman, described how she was raped by two white men who made reference to a pornographic video game called “Custer’s Revenge” in which a white Army officer scores points by raping Indian women:

They held me down and as one was running the tip of his knife across my face and throat he said, “Do you want to play Custer’s Last Stand? It’s great. You lose but you don’t care, do you? You like a little pain, don’t you, squaw?… The only good Indian is a dead Indian… A squaw out alone deserves to be raped.”
Hustler cartoon:
A man drags a trussed-up Asian woman down the middle of a highway to paint two yellow lines.