White House Releases Report on Rape and Sexual Assault >>

January 22nd, 2014

White House Releases Report on Rape and Sexual Assault

Today, the White House Council on Women and Girls released a report, Rape and Sexual Assault: A Renewed Call to Action. This report analyzes the most recent, reliable data about rape and sexual assault in our country, including in Indian Country. It identifies those most at risk of being victims of these crimes, examines the cost of this violence to survivors and our communities, and describes the response of the criminal justice system as too often inadequate. The report outlines steps the Administration has taken to combat rape and sexual assault, and provides a roadmap for further action. Drawing attention to the Administration’s commitment to make colleges and universities safer for students, the President also signed a new Presidential memorandum today to establish the White House Task Force on Protecting Students from Sexual Assault.

The report says nearly 22 million American women and 1.6 million men have been raped in their lifetimes. These victims are more likely to suffer from depression, substance abuse and a wide range of physical ailments, including chronic pain and diabetes. While women of all races are targeted, some are more vulnerable than others: 33.5% of multi-racial women have been raped, as have 27% of American Indian and Alaska Native women, compared to 15% of Hispanic, 22% of Black, and 19% of White women.

In addition, the report highlights the Administration’s efforts to protect American Indian and Alaska Native women, which includes implementation of the Tribal Law ad Order Act of 2010 and the Violence Against Women Act of 2013. These efforts include:

  • Increasing resources for hiring more tribal law enforcement officers, building court systems, and strengthening victim services;
  • Carrying out new penalties for spouse and intimate-partner violence;
  • Expanding jurisdiction to allow both federal and tribal authorities to hold all domestic abusers accountable, whether the abuser is Indian or non-Indian;
  • Updating the National Protocol for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examinations (SAFE Protocols) to include information on assisting populations with special needs such as survivors with limited English proficiency, survivors with disabilities, American Indian and Alaska Native victims, and other areas;
  • Directing funds to serve populations that are particularly vulnerable to sex trafficking, including Native American women;
    Launching a Tribal Special Assistant United States Attorney Pilot Project to fund tribal prosecutors to prosecute violence against women cases in both tribal and federal courts; and
  • Boosting conviction rates through better evidence collection, to providing better and more comprehensive services to victims.

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