"ONE in three American Indian women will be raped in their lifetimes, statistics gathered by the United States Department of Justice show."
and this is the second paragraph:
"The situation is unfair to Indian victims of all crimes — burglary, arson, assault, etc. But the problem is greatest in the realm of sexual violence because rapes and other sexual assaults on American Indian women are overwhelmingly interracial. More than 80 percent of Indian victims identify their attacker as non-Indian. (Sexual violence against white and African-American women, in contrast, is primarily intraracial.) And American Indian women who live on tribal lands are more than twice as likely to be raped or sexually assaulted as other women in the United States, Justice Department statistics show."
[For the full Op-Ed article, click here]
I don't have anything profound or enlightening to say. Only that I think our understanding of race with respect to indigenous people in the U.S. (and around the world) is poor. And in the U.S. I think that we live in this amnesia or willful ignorance about the history of U.S. colonization of American Indian land and culture. But clearly, as this Op-Ed piece shows, there is a real albeit violent/tragic way that American Indians are aware of the presence of all us settler-colonists.
And I think it goes without saying that rape against women is a phenomenon that our society has NOT gotten a handle on. In college I had three close friends who were raped (by acquaintances--in other words, men they knew), and I am sure that all of you know someone who was a victim of rape (even if s/he hasn't disclosed this to you).
Not a happy Monday post, I know, but I think it's important to remember that this goes on--largely uncommented about--and that the repercussions of rape not just for individuals but for their families, friends, and larger communities (and I'd add our entire society) are too huge to ignore and yet...this still goes on? Why???