One in two Native American women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime; one in three will be raped. U.S. Government policies, judicial loopholes and prejudice stereotypes still in place today but born out of a historical approach of “annihilation or assimilation“ are directly responsible for the epidemic in American Indian Communities today. These policies have led to the highest rates of depression, substance abuse, mental illness and sexual violence of any ethnic group in the country.

Through the personal story of Cristine we discuss the state of violence in native communities, contributing factors and accountability. We use personal anecdotes as a microcosm for the larger story; discussing her complicated relationship with the man who raped her as a way to tell the story of a conquered people struggling for freedom to this day. We consider the idea of historical trauma from three major events; Forced Relocation, the Dawes Act and the Boarding School Era, then look into the effects on today’s indigenous communities as well as their implications for domestic violence rates.