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Indian Country Statistics

According to the "American Indians and Crime" report (US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, February 1999) for the period 1992-1996:

  • American Indians were the victims of rape or sexual assault at 3.5 times the rate of United States residents of other races.
  • About 90% of the American Indian victims of rape or sexual assault reported an offender of a different race.
  • Nearly a third of all American Indian victims of violence were between the ages of 18 and 24.

Some Native Americans, service providers and national researchers believe that, even though statistics reflect an alarming rate of sexual violence in Indian Country, the rate of sexual assault in particular is underrepresented, most likely due to being underreported. The history of cultural and personal oppression of Native American and First Nations women, their fear of familial reprisal and shame, and the overlapping and confusing federal, state and tribal legal jurisdictions that can hinder investigations and prosecutions, discourage Native American women victims of violence from pursuing support and justice and leaves them feeling helpless and fearful.