jueves, 7 de mayo de 2009

Native Women Victims of Sexual Violence

From Amnesty International

This week, after powerful testimony on sexual violence against Native Women, we finally have Congress' attention and a small window to make an impact while the legislation is being drafted.
Help close the gap on law enforcement and health care for Native women.

Dear Friends,
Two days ago, Sarah Deer, lawyer and Native woman activist, delivered powerful testimony before Congress exposing serious gaps in law enforcement and health care for Native women. Native American and Alaska Native victims of sexual assault and rape have to navigate a complex maze of federal, state, tribal and local law and frequently perpetrators are not brought to justice.
While we have their attention, let Congress know that you care about justice for Native Women.
Send a message that you want to close the gap in law enforcement and health care for Native women victims of sexual violence.
The Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior is drafting legislation
right now that will determine the level of federal funding for law enforcement and health care in Native American and Alaska Native communities. If the committee fails to include additional funds in this bill for protecting Native women against sexual assault, yet another year will pass where survivors of rape are unable to receive proper medical attention, such as obtaining sexual assault forensic examinations.

Tell the committee leadership to increase funding for the Indian Health Service and help enable Native Women sexual assault survivors to receive adequate medical treatment.
Sarah Deer's testimony before the committee was a truly historic moment in this long battle for the rights of Native American and Alaska Native women. We are asking the Subcommittee to increase federal funding for programs to help combat sexual violence against Native American and Alaska Native women as well as to include specific language directing health care providers and law enforcement officials to document the number of sexual assault cases that occur, who the perpetrators are, and where the assaults take place. If we can convince them to include this important language now, there is a good chance it will become a part of the final bill.
In our report,
Maze of Injustice, we uncovered that Native American and Alaska Native women are more than 2.5 times more likely to be sexually assaulted or raped than women in general in the US and that one in three will be raped in their lifetime. Astonishingly enough, experts believe these numbers to be an underestimate because sexual violence against Native women frequently goes undocumented.
Help us stop this epidemic of sexual violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women.
Thanks for your support,
Meredith Larson
Director, Stop Violence Against Women Campaign
Amnesty International USA

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