The current statistics are shocking enough, and a new clarification of definition of rape may highlight more troublesome, increased numbers of rape cases in Indian Country.
As Rob Capriccioso reports on ICTMN, the Obama Administration recently expanded the official definition of rape. That could help tell a more accurate picture of sexual assaults across the country and help define a solution.
In the past, the numbers have shown Native women are more than three and half times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape.
That revelation was made clear January 6 when the Obama administration announced that the federal government would also begin counting rapes toward women that were done by an object or mouth on the vagina or anus without consent, and it would begin counting rapes of children and men as well. The new data will be collected for the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR), published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The new definition is more consistent with state laws and local crime reports, administration officials said.
Obama administration officials said the new measuring methods may lead to an increase in the number of counted rapes nationwide, including those in Indian country.
“This major policy change will lead to more accurate reporting and far more comprehensive understanding of this devastating crime,” said Valerie Jarrett, a senior advisor to Obama, in a press conference call. She called the old data “incomplete,” and said that “it has not captured the true impact of this crime.”
Capriccioso also discusses in his report how decreased federal funding for certain programs inhibits the prosecution of attackers and resources available to victims of rape in Indian Country.