Violence Against Indigenous Women in the United States: A Policy Analysis

Main Article Content

Annie Benjamin
Elizabeth D. Gillette


Disproportionate levels of violence, disappearance, and murder are endemic among Indigenous women in the United States (U.S.). The prevalence of such violence has persisted for centuries, with little direct action taken to elevate the issue, protect Indigenous women, and hold individual and systemic perpetrators accountable. As a result, Indigenous women in the U.S. face various forms of violence at 2.5 times the rate of non-Indigenous women, with murder being the third leading cause of death. A staggering 94% of Indigenous women experience sexual violence in their lifetime (Urban Health Institute, 2019).

Through an analysis of existing and new legislation aimed at addressing the issue of violence against Indigenous women, we reveal the ways in which policies have fallen critically short of achieving this mission, highlight the strengths of recently enacted legislation, and provide recommendations for implementation in order to truly prevent violence, and therefore to protect and empower Indigenous women.

Article Details

Indigenous Women, Women, Violence, Violence Against Women, US Policy, Policies Protecting Women, Policies Empowering Indigenous Women, Violence Against Indigenous Women
How to Cite
Benjamin, A., & Gillette, E. D. (2021). Violence Against Indigenous Women in the United States: A Policy Analysis . Columbia Social Work Review, 19(1), 158–173.