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While violence against women plagues many communities across the country and around the world, the Native American indigenous groups in North America are particularly hard struck by this devastating problem. Missing and murdered indigenous women (MMIW) present some of the highest statistics for violence and death in these areas. The situation has existed for generations and continues to harm and destroy individuals and families to this day.
While many awareness programs and initiatives exist to attempt to stem the rising numbers of cases of violence, missing, and murdered women in indigenous communities, far too many are still suffering at the hands of others. The statistics are sobering, to say the least.
Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Statistics
The US Department of Justice maintains records on murders every year across all demographics of men and women in the country. When it comes to indigenous women, they are 10 times more likely to be killed than the average national murder rate. Despite how high these statistics seem, they cover only a small percentage of all of the native women who are victims of violence every year. After all, the majority of violent crimes do not end in murder. Nevertheless, they are incredibly prevalent in indigenous areas.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Native American women under the age of 35 experience a higher murder risk than many other groups. It is the third or fifth most prevalent cause of death for girls and young adults from age 10 up to age 34.
One of the most difficult things when learning the truth about MMIW is that statistics are extremely hard to come by. Various studies, such as one by the Urban Indian Health Institute or UIHI, of attempted to gather information from all across the country and compare it to official statistics from ordinary law enforcement agencies and other groups. The numbers, such as a total of 5712 cases of missing and murdered indigenous women, focus primarily on people living off reservations or native land. Nevertheless, it seems shocking to find that only 116 of those cases wherever included in the US Department of Justice's official missing persons' lists.