MPR has a commentary this morning from Suzanne Koepplinger, executive director of the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center in Minneapolis, entitled “Native women travel a violent road.” Coincidentally, The Circle, a Native news site, just published a lengthy story — “Trafficking Of Native Women is widespread” — based on a truly horrifying WIWRC report.
Near as I can tell from site searches, the sex-trafficking report, released in September, disappeared without a media trace, except for this mention in the Twin Cities Daily Planet and this KFAI interview. Even if you know the Native community has a particular problem with women being forced to have sex for money, some of the figures are stark, including:
* 25 percent of the women in Hennepin County on probation for prostitution are Native, but Native women make up just 2.2 percent of the population
* In a sample of 95 Native women seeking services from the WIWRC, 40 percent reported being the victims of commercial sexual exploitation.
* 60 percent entered prostitution before 18; 21 percent before age 12
I know this is not a new dynamic, and the major media have covered the issue, but the breadth and depth is news. Some larger organization should treat it as such, even at this late date.