Snip from part 1 in a 2-part series by Laura Sullivan airing this week on NPR's All Things Considered:
When Archambault found her friend in a Bismarck, N.D. hospital, she was
black and blue.
"'I said, 'Leslie, what happened?.' She said, 'Rhea, is that you? Turn the
lights on, I can't see.' But the lights in the room were on. She said,
'Rhea, I was raped,' and she was just squeezing my hand," Archambault
Archambault called the Bureau of Indian Affairs police, a small department
in charge of all law enforcement on the reservation. A few days later an
officer arrived in the hospital room, and Leslie scratched out a statement
on a tablet laid across her stomach.
Ironroad told the officer how she was raped and said that the men locked her
in a bathroom, where she swallowed diabetes pills she found in the cabinet,
hoping that if she was unconscious the men would leave her alone. The next
morning, someone found her on the bathroom floor and called an ambulance.
A week later, Ironroad was dead – and so was the investigation. None of the
authorities who could have investigated what happened to Leslie Ironroad
did – not the Bureau of Indian Affairs, nor the FBI, nor anybody else.
People who know the men who likely attacked her say they were never even
Reader comment: Jason Pitzl-Waters says,
Thanks for picking up on this issue, perhaps you might want to provide a link to the recently released Amnesty International study on the issue entitled: "Maze of Injustice The failure to protect Indigenous women from sexual violence in the USA". Link.
Some of the statistics in the report are simply chilling. Including the fact that a vast majority of sexual assault and rape cases against Native women are committed by strangers and outsiders (which is at odds with the typical rape statistics), and that 1 in 3 Native Americans will be raped in their lifetimes.
Deborah Johnson says,
I'd like to point out this current case involving an indigenous woman in Canada: Link. It's over 7 months now, and still nothing done, nothing found. A man has started a Facebook group about her murder here: Link.
and on Facebook: Link.
Yes, I'm a member of it, and yes I'd like to see some closure brought. It is sickening to hear of the double standard that police have in the U.S. and Canada, and even Australia in regards to native peoples assaults, rapes and murders. They are not second hand citizens. They deserve just as much justice as anyone. Doctor's group lifting the reward money: Link.
Congress moves to put nearly a 100Mil to stop the serial rapists and to find out what's going on: Link.