Thursday, August 26, 2021

Arizona student journalism package recounts the history of child sexual abuse in Native American communities

Journalism students at the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication have produced an outstanding multimedia package on child sexual abuse in Native American communities. "Little Victims Everywhere" also explores where the federal government, which is responsible for investigating such cases, has not been held accountable for its track record since it wasn't required to publicly disclose the disposition of such cases until about a decade ago. 

The stage-setter of the package explains how widespread the problem of child sexual abuse is in many North American indigenous communities. "Some experts estimate it could impact as many as half of all children," it reports. The second chapter recounts how many cases fall through the cracks of the justice system. The third shows how tribal courts and police have limited authority and resources to sufficiently investigate cases and hold abusers accountable. The fourth shows how some Native Americans are trying to find their own ways of bringing healing and justice to their communities. The final chapter steps back for a longer view, discussing how intergenerational trauma dating back to the colonization of North America has contributed to the problem of sexual abuse in Indian Country.

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