Violence Against Native Americans

Even though as a whole, Native Americans comprise only 5% of the population in North Dakota, violent victimization occurs at an alarming rate both on and off the reservations.*

The rate of violent crime estimated against Native Americans is well above that of other U.S. racial or ethnic groups and more than two times the national average. (Source)

The average rate of sexual assault among Native Americans per year is three and a half times higher than all other races.

Historical Trauma

Historical trauma is also a huge part of violence against Native Americans. This violence can be largely attributed to the immigration of Europeans to North America. This began the change in the status of Native women, once held as leaders, considered sacred and much respected Europeans enforced their values and perpetuated the belief that violence against women, particularly by their partner was acceptable. As a result of these changes, violence and oppression have become the norm and efforts to end the violence are still in their early stages. (Source)

Nationally, rural women living on reservations face unique challenges when dealing with violence. Not only are there generally a limited number of law enforcement officers to respond to calls, but there are often jurisdictional issues about who will respond. In addition to these barriers, many Native women have limited access to telephones, transportation, emergency services, or accessible roads, especially in inclement weather. (Source)

If you are a victim

If you are a victim of sexual or domestic violence, please contact your local crisis intervention center for assistance. Crisis intervention centers across North Dakota will do their best to provide culturally appropriate services and provide the help that you need. For a full list of local crisis intervention centers, click here. 


For more resources about sexual and domestic violence, please click here.
Or visit any of the following national resources:

Mending the Sacred Hoop
Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center
White Bison,Inc.
American Indian Law Center, Inc. 

First Nations Womens Alliance

SAFETY ALERT: If you are in danger, please use a safer computer, call 911, a local hotline, the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.Escape