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Crime and Courts

Violence Against American Indian Women Described As 'Shocking'

U.S. Attorneys from Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa will gather next week for a conference centered on domestic violence and sexual assault in Indian Country. 

U.S. Attorney for Kansas Barry Grissom says the statistics on violence against women and girls in tribal communities can only be described as shocking.

“It’s much larger than the national average, if you will," he said. "From what I understand, nearly half—that’s one half—of all American Indian women have been physically assaulted, raped, or stalked by their partner, and more than one in four have actually been raped.”

Grissom says Attorney General Eric Holder has declared that level of violence unacceptable and has launched an effort to step up prosecution of such crimes. In fact, says Grissom, since Holder took over at the Justice Department in 2009, there’s been a 54 percent increase in criminal prosecution of domestic violence and sexual assault cases in tribal communities.

The 2013 Indian Country Conference takes place Tuesday and Wednesday in Sloan, Iowa.