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Sexual Assault Training in Indian Country

American Indian women suffer a high rate of sexual assault. According to a Bureau of Justice Statistics study on crime in Indian Country, American Indians have a higher rate of rape and sexual assault than any other demographic group studied.* Yet, most advocates working with sexual assault victims in Indian Country do not have access to evidence-based training that incorporates key elements of traditional culture along with the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE)/Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) model of responding to victims. In 1997, OVC funded development of a Sexual Assault Advocate/Counselor Training curriculum. Although not finalized, the curriculum has been used to provide training in a number of jurisdictions. See Building Skills for Sexual Assault Responders: Sexual Assault Advocate/Counselor Training Curriculum.

OVC's Sexual Assault Training in Indian Country project will take the pilot curriculum and adapt it for training sexual assault victim advocates and other first responders in American Indian communities. This evidence-based curriculum includes key information on the SANE/SART model and the important role advocates play as part of a SART. The curriculum will be modified to include traditional, cultural, and spiritual elements based on input from American Indian advocates, then pilot tested in several Indian communities and revised based on feedback.

* See American Indians and Crime: A BJS Profile, 1992-2000, December 2004, U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, NCJ 203097.

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