“We have serial rapists on the reservation — that are non-Indian — because they know they can get away with it,” said Charon Asetoyer, executive director of the Native American Women’s Health Education Resource Center in Lake Andes, S.D. “Many of these cases just get dropped. Nothing happens. And they know they’re free to hurt again.”
We know these rape cases are hard to prosecute anyway, much less getting defendants to the federal courts, which are often hundreds of miles away from tribal areas,” says Deborah Parker, vice chairwoman of the Tulalip Tribes in Washington state and herself a survivor of and witness to sexual abuse. “Those living on the reservation and have domestic partners know that there’s a jurisdictional issue. They know that the law essentially doesn’t apply to them. They walk away without any repercussions.