Monday, May 5, 2008

Amnesty International Calls for Protocol for Rape Victims at IHS

Amnesty International USA is asking people to join forces with American Indian and Alaska Native women in demanding that the Indian Health Service standardized protocols for treating the victims of sexual assault. Go here for more details.

Last year, Amnesty International USA published Maze of Injustice, a report documenting sexual violence against American Indian and Alaska Native Women. More than one in three American Indian or Alaska Native women will be raped at some point in their lives, according to the report. In at least 86 percent of reported cases, survivors report that the perpetrators are non-Native men, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The IHS lacks consistent protocols for treating sexual assault survivors, according to Amnesty International. This includes failing to ensure that all IHS facilities have "rape kits" available and nurses who are trained to administer them. Forensic examinations, including examinations conducted with rape kits, are crucial to prosecuting cases and holding perpetrators accountable.

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