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Hidden in the Sand: The Case for Protecting Indigenous Women


As of 2016, about 5,712 indigenous women in the U.S. alone have been reported missing and in worse cases, murdered. Only 116 of those cases have been reported to the U.S Department of Justice on their missing persons database.

Only 116. Out of 5,712.

From there, Indigenous women have been murdered 10x higher than other ethnicities. Thanks to handy dandy statistics we can see that:

4 out of 5(84.3%) women have experienced violence one way or another.

More than half(56.1%) of Indigenous women have been sexually assaulted.

More than half(55.5%) of Indigenous women are physically assaulted by their intimate partner.

MORE THAN HALF of Indigenous woman(48.8%) are stalked.

We also see that Indigenous women:

are 1.7 times more likely to be assaulted than a non-Indigenous woman.

-2x times more likely to be to be raped than a non-Indigenous woman and 3x TIMES more likely to be MURDERED than a non-Indigenous woman.

Only 15 out of the 50 states of the UNITED States of America have public reports and statistics of these missing and murder cases.

Only 15.

Some may ask “But who is causing these murders? Why aren’t they being stopped?”

I don’t know, maybe it has something to do with the non-Indigenous people the justice system just loves to dismiss. Maybe it’s the normalization of racism, sexism, and sexual objectification of these women. Maybe it’s the fact that their culture has been colonized and made fun of. Oh! Maybe it’s the fact that we STOLE THEIR LAND. Now their sisters are going missing and killed.

“That’s terrible…why haven’t I heard about this?”

There it is.

The realization of not knowing. Not realizing there’s actual issues around the world. The majority of us get our news from social media and news articles, unfortunately issues like these aren’t

talked about enough and are swept under the rug. If there’s no viral video or recorded evidence or “inspirational act”, it’s not newsworthy. And just like everyone else, there has to be an aesthetic post on Instagram to get the word across. And even then we won’t know unless we ASK. 


I just learned about this today(at the time of me typing this out)! I thought my friend was posting a sneak peak for her comic! I had to ASK her to realize that this was an actual thing that’s been going on and is STILL going on. And I’m upset! I’m disappointed! Angry at the fact that I. Didn’t. Know.


Just like I didn’t know about the burning in Australia, or the economic issue in Colombia, or the situation in India.


As journalists, our job is to inform the uninformed. 


To speak out on issues that shouldn’t be political but basic human rights.  But we failed that.


   Fortunately, movements like The Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women(MMIW) have come together to create a campaign titled “No More Stolen Sisters” to honor and protect Indigenous woman. 

Joe Biden has also declared May 5th as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day. Stating that his “Administration is fully committed to working with Tribal Nations to address the disproportionately high number of missing or murdered Indigenous people, as well as increasing coordination to investigate and resolve these cases and ensure accountability.” 


(We can finally celebrate something important rather than just have a “drinking” holiday)


   Humanity sucks, it really does. However we can work to educate ourselves and do better to understand each other’s pain that stems over hundreds of years. The least we can do is…do better. 

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