Stay up-to-date with the latest news relating to sexual assault and abuse of American Indian
and Alaska Native people.
Below you will find featured news relating to sexual assault and abuse in tribal communities. If you want to submit an article on sexual assault and abuse, please share it with us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also click here for a submission form.
Hundreds come together in Minneapolis for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives March
February 14, 2023
Hundreds of people marched through the streets in south Minneapolis Tuesday, all raising awareness for missing and murdered Indigenous girls, boys, LBGQI+, two-spirit and transgender people. The event was put on by several organizations, including the Minnesota Indian Women's Sexual Assault Coalition and the Little Earth Residents Association.
NIWRC and Tribal Nations Press Release: The Montana Supreme Court’s decision in L.B. v. United States
August 17, 2022
“L.B.’s victory in the Montana Supreme Court is a victory for Native women all across Montana,” states Lucy Simpson, Executive Director of the NIWRC, a non-profit headquartered in Lame Deer, Montana. “In Montana, our Native women, children, men, and two-spirit relatives are murdered and go missing at some of the highest rates in the United States. But when the price for calling the BIA for help is being raped or having your children removed from your home, victims simply will not pick up the phone to call for help. The Montana Supreme Court’s decision will assist victims in holding the BIA accountable for the actions of its law enforcement officers, and that will help address the crisis of violence we currently face here in Montana.”
Implementation of VAWA 2022’s Tribal Jurisdiction Reimbursement Program
OVW is pleased to announce that registration is open and the framing paper has been released for the Government-to-Government Consultation: OVW Tribal Jurisdiction Reimbursement Program. The Consultation will be conducted virtually July 27-28, 2022 from 1:00p.m. - 5:00p.m. EST.
Amnesty International: The Never-Ending Maze: Continued Failure to Protect Indigenous Women from Sexual Violence in the USA
May 17, 2022
More than half of all American Indian and Alaska Native women have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime; one in three have experienced rape. Since Amnesty International first reported on this issue in 2007, rates of violence against Indigenous women have not significantly changed, and the US government continues to fail to adequately prevent and respond to such violence. Access the site which lists some of the factors that contribute the high rates of sexual violence against Indigenous women, and the barriers to justice that they continue to face.
New Department of Justice Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons Webpage
April 26, 2022
The DOJ recently launched the Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) webpage as part of the Department’s Tribal Justice and Safety website, which houses other Tribal initiatives at DOJ such as the Tribal Access Program, grant opportunities, Consultations, and several other resources for Tribes.
Executive Order on Improving Public Safety and Criminal Justice for Native Americans and Addressing the Crisis of Missing or Murdered Indigenous People
November 15, 2021
President Joe Biden signed an executive order Monday during the Tribal Nations Summit instructing federal departments and agencies to coordinate with tribal governments on a trauma-informed, victim-centered approach to address violence against Native Americans.
Operation Lady Justice Releases Missing Person Resource Baskets
November 10, 2021
Operation Lady Justice (OLJ) recently unveiled a new design of the education and resources section of the OLJ website. The site now contains Resource Baskets specifically targeted to various audiences to enable more effective access to the resources. The Baskets include specific resources for Victims/Families, Law Enforcement, Service Providers, and Tribal Communities.
Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence, Reproductive Coercion, and Reproductive Health Among American Indian and Alaska Native Women: A Narrative Interview Study
November 5, 2021
Access narrative interviews conducted with AI/AN women from four tribal reservation communities. The interviews explored connections among sexual and reproductive health, IPV, SV, reproductive coercion (RC), and pregnancy experiences as well as women's experiences of healing and recovery.
Leveraging Funding Opportunities with TAD
November 1, 2021
Interested in OVW Funding Opportunities for Tribes and tribal communities? The Tribal Affairs Division (TAD) is here to help! Starting November 9th, TAD will be releasing a series of short videos on "Leveraging Funding Opportunities with TAD" with easy steps on how to strategize your project, develop your proposal and submit it.
A Proclamation on National Native American Heritage Month, 2021
October 29, 2021
President Joe Biden has issued a proclamation naming November 2021 as National Native American Heritage Month. "During National Native American Heritage Month, we celebrate the countless contributions of Native peoples past and present, honor the influence they have had on the advancement of our Nation, and recommit ourselves to upholding trust and treaty responsibilities, strengthening Tribal sovereignty, and advancing Tribal self-determination."
National speaker to offer tools for better understanding Native American traumas
October 6, 2021
Boarding schools, hurtful symbols and sexual violence can have cumulative impact on well-being. National speaker Elena Giacci has two goals in mind for her upcoming training about historical and current trauma: education and healing.
Navajo Advocates Take Community Approach to Sexual Violence
July 25, 2021
Agents from the FBI office in Salt Lake City traveled to southern San Juan County to award Utah Navajo Health System (UNHS) for its victim advocacy program, which Crotty and others hope will become a model program for supporting victims of sexual assault and domestic violence across the Navajo Nation.
H.R. 1652 (S. 611) VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021 (VOCA Fix Act) heads to the President
July 22, 2021
On Tuesday, in a rare bi-partisan support of 100-0, the Senate approved S. 611 the “VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crimes Fund Act of 2021.” Since the original act’s inception in 1984, Tribes were left out of direct access to these funds.
National Week of Action for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
April 29 - May 5, 2021
The National Indigenous Women's Resource Center and National Partners Work Group on MMIWG are organizing a full National Week of Action (April 29 - May 5) to call the nation and the world to action in honor of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
DOJ Journal - Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons: Legal, Prosecution, Advocacy, & Healthcare
April 6, 2021
The second issue of the DOJ Journal focused on Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons was released. The articles in this issue will be helpful to AUSAs litigating cases and to tribes working to develop a criminal justice and social services response to MMIP.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month
April 1, 2021
Each April, the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, StrongHearts Native Helpline, and Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center recognize Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) by raising awareness of sexual assault and standing in support of survivors of sexual violence.
Completion of Tribal Community Response Plan to Address Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Announced
April 1, 2021
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Montana, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) of the Flathead Indian Reservation and the FBI today announced the completion of the nation’s first Tribal Community Response Plan (TCRP) as part of a pilot project to address cases of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons.
A Bethel woman reported she was raped. After months of delays in the case, she publicly protested inaction by police and prosecutors.
March 26, 2021
On March 4, a Bethel woman protested outside the Bethel courthouse. She said she was raped and wanted to draw attention to what she claimed was the criminal justice system’s slow response in investigating her case.
Grants to Indian Tribal Governments Pre-Application Information Session
March 25, 2021
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) is pleased to invite you to virtually attend the Grants to Indian Tribal Governments (Tribal Governments Program) Pre-Application Information Session on April 5, 2021.
Apply Now: American Indian & Alaska Native Student Travel Scholarships
March 24, 2021
NIJ will support up to 15 American Indian and Alaska Native students in attending criminal justice-related conferences. Students will explore how their educational backgrounds apply to issues of crime and justice. Applications dues by May 10, 2021.
Notah Begay Foundation Grants
March 18, 2021
Notah Begay III Foundation Community Empowerment Grants to Native American communities for community-led, culturally-rooted programs that promote physical activity, healthy nutrition, youth development, and cultural connections.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide Application | Deadline: April 12, 2021
‘The laws fail to keep people safe’: Most sexual assault cases in Nome never go to trial
February 8, 2021
Western Alaska has the highest sexual assault rate in the state, and those are just the cases that are actually reported to authorities. Even when everything in a sexual assault case is reported instantly and an investigation is done right away, statistics show most cases will not go to court. Cases can take years to go to trial, if they ever make it.
TDVAM: Lifting Up Voices of Native Youth and Teens for Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
February 1, 2021
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM). Across Indian Country, this is an important opportunity to listen to and talk with youth and teens about healthy relationships and dating violence.
Savanna’s Act and the Not Invisible Act Signed into Law
October 10, 2020
On October 10, 2020, two bills were signed into law to help address the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women in the United States. The bills, which were presented to the President on September 30, 2020, follow years of advocacy by indigenous women, tribes, and Native organizations calling for firm action to combat this human rights issue.
Health Disparities Leave Native Americans More Vulnerable To COVID-19
August 4, 2020
Wisconsin Tribes Seek To Prevent Potentially 'Devastating' Spread Of Coronavirus. Tribal communities in Wisconsin haven’t seen a spike in COVID-19 cases like some in other parts of the country, such as the Navajo nation, which has seen some of the highest infection and death rates in the country.
AK DPS Publishes Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) Interim Report
July 28, 2020
The SAKI project, funded through a federal grant, launched in January of 2017. The DPS and its partner agencies created a multidisciplinary working group to manage the project and to come up with recommendations to improve outcomes for survivors and the process for sexual assault investigations.