Native women and girls across North America experience violence at alarming rates, with more than 1.5 million experiencing violence in their lifetime. Instances of murder, rape, and violent crime against Native women are all higher than the national average, and data shows that these women make up a significant portion of missing and murdered individuals.
Led by Indigenous voices, the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) movement aims to raise awareness about the violence that many Native women face; bring justice to these women, girls, and their grieving communities; and shine a light on the deafening silence of the media and law enforcement in the midst of this ongoing crisis.
In this month’s episode of PHPod, host Kara Schmidt sits down with Annita Lucchesi and Jodi Voice Yellowfish to discuss the MMIW epidemic in the United States. Lucchesi serves as the founder and director of research and outreach at Sovereign Bodies Institute, a non-profit research center dedicated to understanding and addressing gender and sexual violence against Indigenous peoples. She discusses the lack of data surrounding the MMIW crisis and what her organization is doing to aid in data collection. Yellowfish is chairman and founder of MMIW-Texas Rematriate, a Dallas-based organization dedicated to raising awareness about the MMIW crisis. She shares more about the work of her organization and their ongoing efforts to provide support and healing to survivors, their families, and those currently searching for missing loved ones.
Other common terms used in this field:
MMIWG = Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
MMIR = Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives
MMIP = Missing and Murdered Indigenous People