Colonialism And Sexual Violence Against Indigenous Women

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Colonialism’s Connection to Sexual Violence Against Indigenous Women

In American Culture our idea of Native Culture is one that is still very much rooted in the past. Each Halloween we’re sold the same archaic views of Native American women. The shelves are stocked with costumes printed with slogans such as “Sexy Savage” and “Tribal Temptation”, which sell sexualized exotic views of Native women. We may see these costumes as just that, costumes; however these costumes have a very real effect on how men view Native women today. This is one of the contributing factors of the high rate of violence against Indigenous women. According to information from the U.S Census Bureau there are 5.4 million American Indians/Alaska Natives in the U.S. This represents only 2% of the U.S. total population. Despite the Native population being so small, this demographic of women have the highest rate of sexual violence in the country. Indigenous women are 2.5 times more likely to experience sexual assault than other women in the U.S. ⅓ of women from this population are assaulted/raped in their lifetimes and ⅗ experience domestic violence. Most of this violence comes from non-native men. “According to the US Department of Justice, in at least 86 per cent of the reported cases of rape or sexual assault against American Indian and Alaska Native women, survivors report that the perpetrators are non-Native men.” (Amnesty USA)

Until Obama passed the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act,
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