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Estimating the Magnitude of Rape and Sexual Assault Against American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) Women

Estimating the Magnitude of Rape and Sexual Assault Against American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) Women,10.1375/acri.43.2.199,Australian and New Ze

Estimating the Magnitude of Rape and Sexual Assault Against American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) Women  
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National surveys indicate that American Indian and Alaskan Native (AIAN) women have higher rates of rape and sexual assault victimisation compared to women from other race/ethnic groups. These statistics were brought to the forefront of media attention when an Amnesty International (2007) report illuminated the obstacles many AIAN women have when seeking justice for rape victimisations. Despite this attention, empirical research that examines rape and sexual assault against AIAN women is still in its infancy. The purpose of this article is twofold. We first provide a methodological review of the epidemiological research that has attempted to measure the magnitude of rape against AIAN women at both national and local levels. We then examine National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) data to determine how the contextual characteristics of rape and sexual assault victimisations against AIAN women differ from those of African American and White women. Results indicate that AIAN victims are more likely to face armed offenders, and more likely require medical care for injuries sustained as a result of the attack. Sexual assaults against AIAN women are also more likely to be interracial and the offender is more likely to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, compared to attacks against other victims. Although victimisations against AIAN women are more likely to come to the attention of police, they are much less likely to result in an arrest compared to attacks against either White or African American victims. Directions for future research are provided.
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