“In 2020, 100,000 of the 250,000 women and girls who went missing in the United States were Black, Brown, or Indigenous. Black women and girls make up just 13 percent of the female population in the U.S. but accounted for 35 percent of missing women in 2020. The crisis is especially dire among Indigenous communities. For example, in South Dakota, 2-of-3 missing persons are Native American despite only 1-of-10 South Dakotans being Native American. In Montana, Native Americans account for 1 of every 4 missing persons despite only 1 of every 20 Montanans being Native American…. In addition, the national data that is collected includes Hispanic and Latina women among white women, leaving their numbers wholly unknown.” Chairman Jamie Raskin, Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Hearing
Being a service provider for the past 12 years has allowed me the blessing of working with thousands of youths and adults, primarily working to build their lives after leaving incarceration or exiting foster care facilities. Sadly, over the years I've noticed how our statistics have demonstrated the staggering number of women and young girls who have been trafficked, murdered, abused or in many instances still caught in a cycle of violence.
Most of these women and girls are Black, Brown, or Indigenous.
As story after story have been shared with me and finding myself frequently in an overwhelming position of trying to find necessary resources for these ladies, I discovered another terrifying truth. So many of these women and girls were easily victimized because they had no one to advocate for them or they had an overall distrust of law enforcement leading them not to report the abuse or seek services. In addition, oftentimes when they did report the abuse they were not believed because their criminal history or addiction issues caused them to be perceived as people who deserved the abuse due to their lifestyle.
As I began to research, I noticed that our statistics were a smaller representation of what was taking place nationally. I also took note that there was little to no news media coverage when one of our Women of Color went missing.
On May 16th, 2022, I will begin walking across the country, from Los Angeles to the Statue of Liberty to connect with Survivors, families of the missing and murdered, engaging with various law enforcement agencies, activists and policy makers. Together we can find where the gaps exist, discover solutions, and raise funding for those organizations and families on the front lines who work tirelessly to work against this disgusting reality which takes place in our communities to our Women of Color.
More than four in five American Indian and Alaska Native adults
(83 percent) have experienced some form of violence in their lifetime. That’s almost 3 million people who have experienced psychological aggression or physical violence by intimate partners, stalking, or sexual violence.
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF JUSTICE
About 40% of the 250,000 women and girls listed as missing as of 2020 were people of color, despite them making up just 16% of the overall population, according to the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.
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