( – 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.
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.