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Wednesday, 26 January 2011 20:27

UN study of violence against Native women touches Cherokee

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A United Nations expert on women’s human rights is investigating why Native women face the highest rates of sexual and physical assault of any group in the U.S.

Rashida Manjoo, United Nations special rapporteur on Violence Against Women, will visit the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians this month. Manjoo will meet with tribal leaders and advocacy organizations to learn more about the epidemic of violence against Indian women and what the U.S. can do to safeguard the human rights of Indian women.

According to U.S. Department of Justice statistics, one out of three Native women will be raped in her lifetime, and three out of four will be physically assaulted. Indian women are stalked at a rate more than double that of any other population. These statistics are linked to legal barriers that prevent Indian nations from adequately responding to crimes.

Unlike all other local communities, Indian nations and Alaska Native villages are legally prohibited from prosecuting non-Indians and tribal courts have restricted sentencing authority for offenders committing acts of sexual and domestic violence that occurs within their tribal lands and communities.

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