Native Americans represent about 1% of the population of the United States; and 28% of the Native American community lives in poverty (compared to 14.5% of the broader US population). This extreme poverty leads to poor education, lack of work opportunities, poor health care, and few safety nets. Native American women are particularly vulnerable to high levels of violence, rape, sex trafficking, and domestic abuse, higher levels of such abuse than any other group in the United States.
- Native American women are 2.5 times more likely to experience violent crime and twice as likely to be raped or sexually assaulted.
- 61 percent will be assaulted in their lifetimes.
- 34 percent will be raped in their lifetimes.
- Native American women are trafficked into the sex trade at a rate that is 20 times higher than that of the general population.*
*”Statistics on Violence Against Native Women,” Policy Insights Brief, NCAI Policy Research Center, National Congress of American Indians
Wiconi Wawokiya’s Pathfinder Center supports Native American women and children facing these challenges in one of the country’s most isolated, poverty-stricken areas.
Wiconi Wawokiya means “Helping Families” and that is what the organization has been doing since 1985, providing a range of services to hundreds of Native American women and children.
Pathfinder Center provides a safe haven for victims of trafficking and domestic violence, providing them with secure housing, health care, and training in life skills that will enable them to move on to the next phase of their lives.