Not Contacting the Authorities?
“According to the Mending the Hoop Technical Assistance Project in Minnesota, tribally-based sexual assault advocates believe that a major difficulty in developing comprehensive programs to address sexual assault in tribal communities, particularly violence against adult women, is that many community members believe that sexual violence is ‘tradition’” (Smith 1999: 280). Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide 1999 written by Andy Smith a Native American scholar, writer and activist eludes why Native American woman have a difficult time contacting the authorities or being heard when they do contact the authorities. This is similar to the documentary produced and directed by Asihah Shahidah Simmons, “No!” from class is about woman of color having difficulties reporting sexual violence by men of color to authorities. Why do woman of color experiencing sexual violence have a complicated time contacting authorities, when the authorities are supposed to help prevent this from happening to these women.
In Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide (1999) Native Americans are having a difficult problem contacting authorities and being heard when they do contact such authorities. Smith depicts the problems that Native American woman are having with sexual violence in their communities. “I told a friend of mine, who was a rape survivor, about the talk. She replied, ‘You mean other Indian women have been raped?’ When I said yes, she asked, ‘Well, why don’t we ever talk about it?’ (Smith 1999:280). This alone shows that the Native American woman think they are alone in their circumstances. This isolation prevents Native American woman from contacting authorities because when there is one it is difficult to hear that voice, but with many voices they can be heard.
A reoccurring problem in Native American communities is most tribes have not developed a program for sexual assault victims. “Although domestic violence programs are...