Published January 10, 2019

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women (CSVANW) joins the voices of Native communities, families and friends across the nation in expressing outrage over the recent sexual assault of a San Carlos Apache woman who gave birth to a boy while in a coma at an Arizona care facility.

“This should not happen anywhere, especially among our most vulnerable citizens who alarmingly experience higher rates of sexual violence compared with abled-body populations,” says Alegra Roybal, CSVANW Sexual Violence Coordinator, adding that 40 percent of women who have physical disabilities reported they have been sexually assaulted, according to reporting from the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Special Issues.
Roybal suggests to family and tribal members of those who are unable to communicate and are housed in a medical care facility to check on their relatives frequently and the public safety records of the facility.
“Any persons in a comatose state cannot consent to any sexual act,” Roybal says.
These horrific acts of violence against Native women are a reminder of the alarming frequency and inexcusable high rates of sexual violence committed against Native women across the Nation. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, American Indian and Alaska Native women experience sexual assault and rape at 2.5 times the rate of any other ethnic group in the United States.
The Coalition extends its deepest sympathies and support to not only the family of the victim but all victims of sexual assault across the nation.
For more information about how sexual violence affects Native communities, click here.

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