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Sexual Assault

National Indian Country Clearinghouse on Sexual Assault (NICCSA) is a project of the Southwest Center for Law and Policy, and NICCSA strives to be your one-stop, comprehensive source for information on sexual violence in Indian Country. NICCSA also has a new FREE service of help with your most challenging law enforcement, advocacy, healthcare, and legal issues: 1-855-464-2272 Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Pacific Time.
The Tribal Law and Policy Institute has partnered with the California Administrative Office of the Courts to conduct the Native American Communities Justice Project (NACJP), an investigation into the issue of family violence in California Native Communities.

Tribal Sexual Assault and Stalking Resource Series

 

Sharing our Stories of Survival Trainer’s Manual is a guide specifically for those interested in providing workshop presentations based on the chapters of Sharing our Stories of Survival. A course on Violence Against Native Women might be taught in any number of disciplines: for example, social work, psychology, advocacy, history, legal studies, criminal justice, nursing, or medicine. However, a full semester or quarter-long course is not always feasible - learning may take place at conferences, meetings, community gatherings, or staff trainings. This manual is specifically designed to give guidance to presenters of workshops, conference plenary sessions, and staff and community training by domestic violence and sexual assault advocates.

Tribal Legal Code Resource: Domestic Violence Laws was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in cooperation with the Office on Violence Against Women and the Bureau of Justice Assistance. This Victim-Centered Approach to Domestic Violence Against Native Women resource guide includes exercises, examples, and discussion questions to help you customize your laws to meet the needs of your community. This resource was revised and updated January 2012, including changes addressing issues concerning the 2010 enactment of the Tribal Law and Order Act.

Tribal Legal Code Resource: Tribal Judge’s Sexual Assault Bench Book and Bench Card was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in cooperation with the Office on Violence Against Women as a resource for tribal judges who hear sexual assault cases in tribal courts. It provides background information on important sexual assault and tribal jurisdictional issues, as well as providing guidance in handling key issues at various stages of a sexual assault criminal trial.

Tribal Domestic Violence Case Law: Annotations for Selected Cases was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in cooperation with the Office on Violence Against Women as a resource for tribal judicial officers in understanding how some tribal governments have handled certain legal issues within the context of domestic violence cases. While a great deal of research has been done on case law in the state systems, little to no analysis has been done on the tribal judicial approach to domestic violence. This compendium, developed as part of an overall code-writing workshop curriculum for tribal governments, will assist tribal legislators as well. Understanding how laws are interpreted by the court systems may impact the development of laws that provide safety to tribal citizens.

Tribal Legal Code Resource: Sexual Assault and Stalking Laws was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in conjunction with the Southwest Center for Law and Policy to be a guide for drafting or revising victim-centered tribal criminal laws on sexual assault and stalking. It is written with a philosophy that tribal laws should reflect tribal values. In addition, writing a tribal law usually requires careful consideration of how state and/or federal laws might apply in the community. This resource guide includes sample language and discussion questions which are designed to help tribal community members decide on the best laws for their community. This resource was revised and updated May 2012, including changes addressing the 2010 enactment of the Tribal Law and Order Act.

Law Enforcement Protocol Guide: Sexual Assault (Including a Model Sexual Assault Protocol) was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in conjunction with Southwest Center for Law and Policy as a tool for improving the investigation of sexual assault crimes. Effective investigations increase the likelihood of victim participation and increase the probability of convictions in tribal, state, and/or federal courts. This guide focuses on the development of an internal protocol for law enforcement. A law enforcement protocol can enhance the efforts of all community agencies in addressing sexual violence. Once your tribal government has strong laws in place, this publication will help you create policies and protocols for your law enforcement agency to enforce your laws.

Prosecutor Protocol Guide: Sexual Assault (Including a Model Sexual Assault Protocol) was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in conjunction with Southwest Center for Law and Policy as a tool for improving the prosecution of sexual assault crimes. Holding offenders accountable for their actions is a key part of making your community safe. This publication is designed to help your prosecutor’s office ensure consistency and compassion for all survivors. This guide focuses on the development of an internal protocol for tribal prosecution. A prosecutor protocol can enhance the efforts of all community agencies in addressing sexual violence.

Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) Resource was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in conjunction with Southwest Center for Law and Policy as a guide to creating cohesive policies between tribal agencies. Victims of sexual assault deserve a coordinated, comprehensive response from a variety of community agencies. This SART resource provides a starting point for developing victim-centered SART teams in your community.

Final Report: Focus Group on Public Law 280 and the Sexual Assault of Native Women PDF File On August 15 - 16, 2007 the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) hosted a focus group in Green Bay, Wisconsin to discuss challenges to, and opportunities for, collaboration between states and tribes in Public Law 280 jurisdictions to address sexual assault in Indian country. The Tribal Law and Policy Institute provided technical assistance and collaborated with OVW on the design and delivery of the session. This final report details the event.

Safety for Indian Women from Sexual Assault Offenders Demonstration Initiative (Draft) Adobe Acrobat Reader is Required to View this File. The United States Department of Justice’s Safety for Indian Women from Sexual Assault Offenders Demonstration Initiative was an effort of OVW to enhance the response of tribal and federal agencies to sexual assault of Indian women. This initiative began in September 2005 with OVW grant awards to four tribal demonstration grantee programs and a tribal technical assistance provider. The Tribal Law and Policy Institute (TLPI) was selected as the training and technical assistance provider to demonstration sites. The purpose of this report is to document background on the Safety project; project goals and objectives; individual program challenges and accomplishments; technical assistance efforts; and project evaluation. Moreover, the purpose of this report is to identify promising practices that were demonstrated by this Safety for Indian Women from Sexual Assault Offenders Demonstration Initiative so that others can learn from the experiences of these demonstration sites. Please note that this report is a draft version, since the final has not yet been formally approved by OVW.
National Indian Country Clearinghouse on Sexual Assault (NICCSA) is a project of the Southwest Center for Law and Policy, and NICCSA strives to be your one-stop, comprehensive source for information on sexual violence in Indian Country. NICCSA also has a new FREE service of help with your most challenging law enforcement, advocacy, healthcare, and legal issues: 1-855-464-2272 Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Pacific Time.

Under a grant from the Office on Violence Against Women, the Tribal Law and Policy Institute has developed and posted a Tribal Protection Order website (see www.TribalProtectionOrder.org ). This website is designed to provide both tribal and non-tribal entities with a clearinghouse of information and resources pertaining to the issuance and enforcement of protection orders.

Report details 'maze' Native women victims face (April 25, 2007) Amnesty International released a report on Tuesday April 25, 2007 that details the "maze of injustice" that Native women face when they become victims of rape and sexual assault. Native women are victimized at 2.5 times the rate of other racial and ethnic groups. Their attackers are more likely to be non-Native, according to government statistics. But tribal governments are hindered by federal law and court decisions. They cannot prosecute non-Natives and they cannot impose a sentence greater than one year or fines of greater than $5,000. State and federal governments can prosecute non-Indians. But Native women advocates say the crimes often go unprosecuted. "Maze of Injustice: The failure to protect Indigenous women from sexual violence in the USA focuses on three areas: Oklahoma, Alaska and the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North and South Dakota. It contains the stories of Native women victims and makes more than 50 recommendations to change the justice system. More Information >>>

Native American and Alaska Native women in the United States suffer disproportionately high levels of rape and sexual violence, yet the federal government has created substantial barriers to accessing justice, Amnesty International. View excerpts from Amnesty's launch of the 113-page report, "Maze of Injustice."

The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) is the nation's largest anti-sexual assault organization. RAINN operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE and carries out programs to prevent sexual assault, help victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice. When a caller dials 1-800-656-HOPE, a computer notes the area code and first three digits of the caller's phone number. The call is then instantaneously connected to the nearest RAINN member center. If all counselors at that center are busy, the call is sent to the next closest center. The caller's phone number is not retained, so the call is anonymous and confidential unless the caller chooses to share personally-identifying information.

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) serves as a central clearinghouse for the voluminous resources and research,  and provides a place to turn to for information, help and support. The NSVRC will influence policy, practice and research by providing greater interaction, investigation and review, and by promoting awareness within the anti-sexual violence movement. The NSVRC works with outside researchers to provide advocates with current information on various topics related to sexual violence. Toll-free 1-877-739-3895.

 

Statistics

Statistics on the rate of sexual assault perpetrated against American Indian and Alaska Native women are available from several reports issued by the United States Department of Justice:

A January 2006 study, "Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Rape Victimization: Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey" has just been released by the National Institute of Justice. Note that pages 13-14 includes an analysis of the data concerning American Indian/Alaska Native women. The chart on page 14 indicates that 34.1% of Native women have been raped in their lifetime. (That's more than 1 in 3 Native women ...) This is significantly higher than the finding that 17.6% of all women (all races together) who have been raped in their lifetime (chart on p. 9).

American Indians and Crime, 1992-2002 PDF File reports the rates and characteristics of violent crimes experienced by American Indians (Native Americans) and summarizes data on American Indians in the criminal justice system. The findings include involvement of alcohol, drugs, and weapons in violence both against and by Indians; victim-offender relationships; the race of persons committing violence against Indians; the rate of reporting to police by victims; and injuries, hospitalization, and financial loss suffered by victims. Sources include the FBI Supplementary Homicide Reports, and BJS Surveys of offenders on probation or in local jails or State and Federal prisons.

Violent Victimization and Race presents incidence estimates and per capita rates of violent victimization of whites, blacks, American Indians and Asians in 1998, and includes victimization trends, 1993-98. Violent crimes included are rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault and simple assault (from the National Crime Victimization Survey), and homicide (from the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting program). Additional findings provided include 1993-98 victimization rates by victim characteristics (household income, age, marital status, residence, and gender), crime characteristics (time and location, presence of weapons, injuries and medical treatment), offender relationship and victim-offender race, by victim's race. An additional section is devoted to the presentation of intimate partner violence findings.

Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey presents findings from a survey of 8,000 U.S. women and 8,000 U.S. men about their experiences as victims of intimate partner violence (rape, physical assault, and stalking). Respondents were asked detailed questions about the characteristics and consequences of their victimization during their lifetime and the past 12 months, including the rate of injury among rape and physical assault victims, their use of medical services, and their involvement with the criminal justice system. (Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view many of these files)

Reports and Papers

Sovereignty of the Soul: Exploring the Intersection of Rape Law Reform and Federal Indian Law, by Sarah Deer
"...[I]t is impossible to separate theories of indigenous self--determination from theories on sexual assault jurisprudence. It is critical that a dual analysis be employed in both disciplines because sexual violence is so deeply imbedded in colonizing and genocidal policies."

The Violent Against Women Network (VAWnet) commissioned a paper entitled Sexual Victimization in Indian Country: Barriers and Resources for Native Women Seeking Help. This article, written by Dr. Sherry L. Hamby, summarizes the barriers facing and resources available to American Indian victims of sexual victimization, with a focus on systemic barriers found in the organizations and communities most likely to serve native women.

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center has published Sexual Assault in Indian Country - Confronting Sexual Violence, a report outlining some of the barriers and obstacles facing survivors of sexual assault in Indian Country.

The United States Sentencing Commission issued Report to Congress: Analysis of Penalties for Federal Rape Cases Adobe Acrobat Reader is Required to View this File. in March 1995. Among other findings, the report compares the federal and state penalties for rape.

Other Resources

The Tribal Law and Policy Institute has developed a Bibliography of Books and Articles Adobe Acrobat Reader is Required to View this File. related to the sexual assault of Native women.

General (non-Indian) Sexual Assault Resources

The Office for Victims of Crime Publishes Literature on emerging victim issues, promising practices, policy development, and technical assistance and skill-building tools. The following documents can be found on OVC's web site:

Managing Adult Sex Offenders in the Community—A Containment Approach (January 1997)
The NIJ Brief discusses results of a national telephone survey identifying how probation and parole agencies managed adult sex offenders and a description of a model management process for containing sex offenders serving community sentences.

Privacy of Victims’ Counseling Communications (November 2002)
Eighth in the OVC Legal Series, this bulletin (NCJ 192264) provides an overview of state laws and issues related to the privacy of communications between victims and their counselors.

Sex Offenses and Offenders: An Analysis of Data on Rape and Sexual Assault (February 1997)
Draws on more than 24 BJS statistical datasets to provide an overview of violent victimization by sexual assault and the characteristics of the offenders who commit these crimes. Among the findings in this BJS report (NCJ 163392), a high percentage of the rape and sexual assault victims are children, and in 90 percent of the cases, they knew the offender.

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE)- Development and Operation Guide - August 1999
This OVC document provides and effective model for sexual assault medical evidentiary exams and offers a multidisciplinary, victim centered way of responding to sexual assault victims by outlining specific steps to replicate "best practices" for improving the response to victims.
Text Version or PDF Version

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Programs: Improving the Community Response to Sexual Assault Victims (April 2001)
This bulletin (NCJ 186366) describes the SANE program, designed to improve sexual assault medical evidentiary exams, and its value to victims and their communities. Information and resources to encourage individuals and agencies to explore starting a SANE program are provided.

Sexual Assault Victimization: An OVC Help Series Brochure (March 2002)
The OVC Help Series is a set of 10 brochures (electronic only) addressing eight categories of crime victimization—homicide, sexual assault, stalking, drunk driving, domestic violence, robbery, assault, and child abuse. Each brochure comprises an overview of general crime facts, a description of what victims may experience, and suggestions for how to seek help. The brochures are intended to supplement the information victim service providers can offer and to give victims a resource they can easily refer to in a crisis.

The Sexual Victimization of College Women (December 2000)
An assessment on the extent and nature of the sexual victimization of college women, based on two national-level surveys, reveals that more than 350 rapes per year may occur on a campus with a population of 10,000 female students. The NIJ Report (NCJ 182369) presents the systematic analysis and other findings from the study cosponsored with Bureau of Justice Statistics.

State Legislators' Handbook for Statutory Rape Issues (February 2000)
This handbook discusses state legislative actions to address the issues of statutory rape.
ASCII Text or PDF

Understanding DNA Evidence: A Guide for Victim Service Providers (April/May 2001)
These OVC publications discuss the crucial role of forensic DNA evidence in solving crimes, particularly brutal sexual assaults and homicides. The growing significance of DNA evidence requires that victim service providers be trained to identify DNA evidence and to counsel victims about its importance in apprehending and convicting offenders. Service providers also should understand the role they can play in supporting victims in cases where an offender's conviction is overturned due to postconviction DNA testing.

Bulletin (NCJ 185690) (April 2001)
Brochure (BC 000657), jointly developed by NIJ and OVC (May 2001)
HTML, ASCII, or PDF

Victims of Sexual Assault, First Response to Victims of Crime (December 2001)
This text is from First Response to Victims of Crime (NCJ 189631), an OVC handbook for law enforcement officers. The field guide also includes contacts for assistance.

The Michigan Judicial Institute (MJI) recently announced its Sexual Assault Benchbook is available online. MJI creates resources, including benchbooks with the latest information on procedures and the state of the law, and directs training programs for judges and court personnel to enhance their professional skills. The Sexual Assault Benchbook is a comprehensive sourcebook for information on the impact of the crime on victims, Michigan's sexual assault related statutes, including applicable defenses, special courtroom procedures that protect the rights of victims, witnesses, and defendants, scientific evidence, post-conviction and sentencing matters, and bond and discovery.

Victim-Oriented Multidisciplinary Responses to Statutory Rape Training Guide (February 2000)
This OVC guidebook raises the various problems law enforcement, prosecutors and victim service providers encounter in statutory rape cases and identifies promising practices in dealing with them.
ASCII Text or PDF

 

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