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Walking With American Indian Victims of Sexual Assault: A Review of Legal Obstacles and Legal Resources Affecting Crime Victims in Indian Country  

Author:  Sherry Hamby, Ph.D..

Source: Volume 01, Number 04, Spring 2009 , pp.293-305(13)

Family & Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly

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Historical oppression and current federal legal policies affect American Indian (AI) victims of sexual and physical assault in many ways. Race-based jurisdiction formulas are imposed on American Indian reservations, making them unlike any other jurisdiction in the United States. Although many non-Indians think oppression against American Indians is entirely historical, many challenges to tribal sovereignty are ongoing. The resulting legal morass impedes justice for AI victims and affects attitudes and perceptions throughout Indian country. Despite these issues, tribes have many justice traditions, such as peacemaking courts, which are increasingly being offered as important alternatives for AI victims and can serve as role models outside Indian country as well. Providers need to be aware of these legal issues when working with victims of sexual violence.


Affiliations:  1: University of the South and University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill).

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