To Top

Everything You Need to Know About Operation Lady Justice

In 2019, Operation Lady Justice, an initiative to create a task force to determine the cause of, and determine solutions to, high levels of extreme violence against Native American women, was signed into law by way of an executive order signed by President Trump. This comes after years of organized activism on the part of Native American communities to address the dual issue of violence against Native American women and the lack of support from the state to investigate and prosecute those responsible. 

Though Operation Lady Justice marks one of the first times governmental funding has been put towards addressing this major issue, some believe it does not dedicate enough funding and support for impacted communities. Additionally, the task force has been criticized for the representatives appointed to it, a lack of clear, actionable goals, and its roundtable methodology that requires survivors to speak to their victimization.    

Despite the flaws with Operation Lady Justice, some have used it as a rallying cry to further advocate for the protection of Native American women. In the wake of this order’s signing, Native American women have banned together in Massachusetts to learn self-defense to better defend themselves from attack, according to a story from NPR. The curriculum for this self-defense session, led by domestic abuse survivor Shanda Poitra, includes basic, physical self-defense techniques, but also how to recognize, evaluate, and respond to imminent threats. This instance highlights just one of many ways Native American women are tackling this issue.

The Seattle-based Urban Indian Health Institute addresses this issue through its “Our Bodies, Our Stories” program. This program strives to raise awareness on the issue by providing a plethora of information on the subject, such as the sobering results of a survey of 148 Native American women living in Seattle that reveals 94% reported having been raped or coerced in their life. 

While gender-based violence and sexual assault are still devastating issues across all ethnic groups, a 2010 report by the US Department of Justice reveals that women of Native American heritage are the most at-risk ethnic group to become victims of kidnapping, stalking, physical abuse, and sexual assault, with four of every five Native American women reporting that they have experienced violence in their lifetime. Perhaps most alarming is that 56% of all Native American women surveyed said that they have experienced sexual violence. 

Operation Lady Justice is a step in the right direction, but the momentum for justice for Native American women must continue if solutions can develop.

Featured Image by Navajo Nation Washington Office Washington Office on Flickr

Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Be Informed

  • How to Manage Perfectionism

    Perfectionism can be extremely harmful as well as difficult to manage. Luckily there are ways to cope and improve your mental...

    Lydia SchapiroSeptember 24, 2020
  • Naomi Osaka Advocates for Racial Justice

    Learn about how star tennis player, Naomi Osaka, shows her social activism and support to racial justice on the court.

    Lydia SchapiroSeptember 16, 2020
  • Sustainability at Home

    Cultivating sustainability in the home is easier than you think! Learn about the easy ways to make your home more eco-friendly....

    Lydia SchapiroAugust 27, 2020
  • How Will College Change in the Fall?

    Keep reading to learn about the question marks surrounding the coming semester.

    Lydia SchapiroAugust 26, 2020
  • Egypt Making Strides Toward Equality

    Egypt took a step further in the direction of women’s rights a few days ago, approving a law that would protect...

    Kalyn WomackAugust 21, 2020
  • Black Mothers: The Risk of Giving Birth

    Serena Williams was not the first black woman to be ignored by her doctor post-partum. Black mothers consistently balance the joy...

    Kalyn WomackAugust 14, 2020
  • No More Bumps: 5 Steps to Smooth Skin

    Ladies, it’s hard to feel nice and smooth after shaving when ingrown hairs and bumps immediately take the spotlight. However, not...

    Kalyn WomackAugust 13, 2020
  • Healthy Social Media Use

    Social media presence has increased for decades, remaining incredibly prevalent in everyday life. Cultivate healthy habits by learning about the effects...

    Lydia SchapiroAugust 12, 2020
  • No Woman was Surprised by What Happened to AOC

    A few weeks ago, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was insulted by Representative Ted Yoho being called a “f—ing bitch” and “dangerous.” Afterwards,...

    Kalyn WomackAugust 12, 2020
  • The Meaning Behind #ChallengeAccepted

    Recently, a trend has surfaced on Instagram where women nominate one another privately to post a black and white picture of...

    Kalyn WomackAugust 11, 2020