The group most at risk of rape in America has not been part of the national discussion on sexual assault. More than half of American Indian and Alaska Native women have experienced sexual violence in their lifetimes, yet these survivors face a unique set of hurdles when they seek justice for an assault on tribal lands.
The relationship between the federal government and tribal nations has led to a complex web of laws that further challenge the criminal justice system. Law enforcement on tribal lands is chronically understaffed. Court systems there have limited authority.
Newsy spent 18 months investigating what happens to sexual assault cases on two reservations: the Fort Peck Reservation in Montana and the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota. Documents and dozens of interviews reveal perpetrators go free with little or no punishment.
"A Broken Trust" will air Oct. 6 at 8 p.m. ET on Newsy's cable channel. It will also be available on Newsy's over-the-top streaming platforms and online at newsy.com beginning Oct. 7. For more details on where to watch, visit newsy.com/abrokentrust.