How To Rape A Woman And Get Away With It

( – promoted by navajo)

This title is not an exaggeration or misstatement, although I really wish it were. I did not go to Netroots Nation to learn that it was possible to rape a woman, right here in the United States and walk away with absolutely no consequences to the rapist. But that’s what I learned in a panel discussion on Friday morning.

Come over the fold and I’ll tell you exactly how this happens – and you can take an action, a small first step towards ending this nightmare.

How to rape a woman and get away with it – a step by step guide:

NOTE: this method works best for white perpetrators.

1. Go to an Indian reservation.

2. Choose your victim.

3. Rape her.

4. Leave the reservation.

At this point the police may get involved. This is not a problem for the rapist at all; in fact, it is kind of an additional rape of the victim, a two-for-one violation. Let me illustrate how the police investigation will likely go down:

A rape victim sits on a Indian Health Services clinic bed as the police discuss the situation:

Tribal officer to local white police: The perpetrator is white, I don’t have jurisdiction. Do you?

Local police: Nope, the victim is Native American. I don’t have jurisdiction. How about you Mr. State Trooper?

State Trooper: Not my problem. According to Public Law 280 I have no jurisdiction. This is a tribal or federal matter.

Tribal Officer: But there aren’t any FBI agents on the reservation right now.

Local police: Well, the victim will just have to wait until one comes.

State Trooper: This Indian Health Service clinic doesn’t even have a rape kit, so there won’t be any forensic evidence.

Local police: I guess this is the end of it. (Tips his hat to the rape victim) You have a nice day ma’am.

Tribal officer, Local Policeman and State Trooper exit.

Victim: Isn’t anyone going to do anything?

Indian Health Service physician assistant: Hey, I can give you some ibuprofen before I send you home!

Georgia LittleShield, Director of Pretty Bird Woman House knows all about this. It happened to her daughter years ago. The rapist is free, has never faced charges and is on the reservation – where he can encounter and threaten his victim. No consequences, not a single one.

Let me tell you something: perpetrators, predators and sex offenders know all about this! They target Native American women! They travel to reservations to choose their victims! It is rape tourism, right here in Oklahoma, South Dakota, Alaska and any place where the confusing mess of jurisdictional issues allow perpetrators to hide.

Are there even words to describe this evil?

There is something you can do right now to help:

Use Amnesty International USA’s form to contact the newly appointed Director of Indian Health Services Robert G. McSwain and tell him to make sure IHS has free rape kits available for victims of sexual assault – CLICK HERE TO CONTACT IHS DIRECTOR ROBERT MCSWAIN

Join Amnesty International’s Stop Violence Against Women Campaign

Small things, but it is a start.

Get Informed:

Read/Download the original Amnesty International Report: Maze of Injustice and the recent updates.

Visit Pretty Bird Woman House website and read the amazing story of how this women’s shelter was helped by the netroots!

A Brief Personal Note

I know there are other issues of great importance. I know we must elect Barack Obama President of the United States of America. Our top short term policy priority must be to end the illegal war in Iraq. Our top long term priority must be to halt global warming.  

But, like torture, this is simply evil. It must be stopped.

Our panel on this topic at Netroot Nations was a failure. We only had at most fifteen people there. The topic is one most people prefer to avoid and I did not promote it enough.  

But we have to speak up. We must. This is not a case where we simply teach Native Americans how to blog and suddenly they have their own voice to speak on these issues. Many reservations have only very limited internet access – pretty much only dialup. They don’t even have computers in most cases!!

Someone has to help give these women a voice. Amnesty International has done a tremendous amount of work on this. But we need more. Please, help me with this. Spread the word.

As a result of this diary I

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4 thoughts on “How To Rape A Woman And Get Away With It

  1. Here are some battles coming in the future:

    *Full funding the Violence Against Women Act – not surprisingly, the Bush administration has failed to fund VAWA. It is simply not a priority for him.

    *Mandate data collection by IHS on victims seeking services for sexual assault/domestic violence

    *Train IHS workers on sexual assault and domestic violence and treating victims of these crimes.

    *Mandate data collection by prosecutors and US Attorney’s on how many cases are prosecuted and how many are not.

    *Push congress so that this jurisdictional nightmare is ended (Senator Byron Dorgan has been working on this).

    And maybe Netroots creates a database of Native American Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault shelters so that people can search, see what they need an donate accordingly?

  2. It wasn’t a failure.

    You were up against John Dean and NINE other events at the same time.

    I am glad I attended.  There were many facts that I was unaware of and the addition of Amanda from Amnesty International and their study provided so much validation for these shelters and I literally broke down in tears when Georgia and Tinnekkia recounted their experiences.

    Something I have in common with Georgia is that both our mothers are products of the government boarding school systems. Many aspects of this are well known but something that hadn’t occured to me and Georgia talked in length about is that these boarding schools produced people who don’t know how to parent.  Georgia said we have a whole generation of parents that don’t know how to parent. Georgia said that her mother can’t hug. If you think about it you NEED someone to show you how to raise a child to nurture and guide them.  These boarding school children were treated with severe discipline and punishment i.e. violence. Georgia said her mother’s school had one nun for every 100 children.  yikes.

  3. Winter Rabbits diary about sterilizations and this one about rape show how hard Indian women have it on the rez. One principle problem with law enforcement on our homelands is that the FBI is in charge of major crimes. For an ambitious FBI agent who dreams of chasing Osama Ben Laden, pursuing complicated local crime isn’t what they want to do. They don’t give a shit about Indian women being raped, how do you advance a career doing that? Being assigned to rez duty is rock bottom for an agent and they get the hell outta here asap.

    Many crimes are the same way, they don’t get prosecuted because of jurisdictional failures. I’d like to see Tribes funded and equipted to take over the investigation and prosecution of all crimes on the rez. But that can’t happen unless the US were willing to give up some jurisdictions and pull the FBI out. fat chance. It would also mean we would have to have a Supreme Court set up etc.

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