Panel addresses the problem of missing and murdered indigenous Hawaiian women | Nationwide

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Honolulu (AP) – At first he was just a friend. He gave Ashley Mahaa a gift and attention. But then he gave her a drug and became dominant and abusive. He punished her for breaking the vague and undefined “rules”, but later apologized and gave her flowers and a wonderful present.

After a while, he introduced a 17-year-old minor from Honolulu High School into the Hawaiian commercial sex industry.

“I shouldn’t be here with everything that happened. I should be dead And most of the people in my situation are missing or dead, “said Hawaiian. Said Mahaa.

Mahaa fled the world many years ago and is now the married mother of four children. But it’s in her mind as she joins a new task force to investigate the problems of missing and murdered Indigenous Hawaiian girls and girls. She remembers her plight every day and can fight for others who are similarly trapped and vulnerable.

A panel set up by the State Capitol earlier this year is set to collect data and identify the causes of the problem. Numbers are few at the moment, but there are numbers that suggest indigenous Hawaiians are disproportionately represented among victims of state sex trafficking.

The job is in the middle of Updated Call of extensive media coverage and law enforcement across the country to bring more attention to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls and other colored races after sparking the recent disappearance of white woman Gabby Petit Investigation. Petit’s body was later discovered in Wyoming.

Some States Breakthrough Report Of the more than 5,700 indigenous girls missing and killed in dozen of US cities in 2016, only 116 were listed in the Justice Department database, according to the Urban Indian Health Institute. ..

Wyoming Task Force 710 indigenous peoples disappeared there between 2011 and September 2020 and we found that indigenous peoples made up 21% of the murder victims, despite making up only 3% of the population, and continued attention and guidance on the issue.

The Urban Indian Health Institute report did not include data on indigenous Hawaiians. This is because the organization is funded by Indian Health Services, a U.S. facility that serves Native American and Alaskan people but not Hawaiians. The Seattle Institute didn’t have the resources to expand the study to Hawaii, Abigail Echohawk said.

This isn’t the first time Native Hawaiians have been on the sidelines in a broader national conversation. Federal efforts to address the problem of missing and killing indigenous women are often focused on Native American and Native American people. One of the reasons is that most of the tribal areas have authority over serious crimes, and the indigenous Hawaiians do not have such lands in the same vein. Like many other Indian communities. A Home Office spokesman said he was working instead to support and cooperate with the island’s government program.

Still, Hawaii faces many of the same challenges as other states, including the lack of data on missing and murdered indigenous women. The exact number of cases nationwide is unknown as many have not been reported or have been well documented or tracked.

The public and private sectors do not always collect racial statistics. Some data also group Indigenous Hawaiians and other Pacific islanders, and it is not possible to determine how affected the Indigenous Hawaiians are. Approximately 20% of the state’s population are Hawaiians.

The task force is led by representatives from the Hawaii Women’s National Commission and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, a semi-autonomous state agency overseen by local Hawaiians. The body also includes members of state authorities, district police stations and private organizations.

Commission executive director and task force co-chair Kara Jabora Karols suspects the work will show that Hawaii’s large-scale tourism industry and military presence encourage sexual trafficking. I am. The money earned in these sectors gives people an incentive to take girls and women from their families.

“Somebody wasn’t kidnapped from the street. When he’s a kid or teenager, he’s tempted and convinced to cut off his family, ”said Jabola-Carolus.

Native American and Alaskan advocates say Indigenous women and girls have been sexually trafficked too, especially in areas with large populations of male temporary workers.

Mahaa said the size of Hawaii’s commercial sex industry is also reflected in the number of girls and women brought to the island from other states.

“I’ve met so many people on the mainland that many of them said they would skip here for a while if traded nationwide and work here if it went slow. I told myself because the demand is very high, ”said Mahaa.

Proponents say that many systematic problems are the cause of the problem. Native Hawaiians have the highest poverty rate (15.5%) of the five largest racial groups in Hawaii and are also one of the most expensive land to rent or own in Hawaii.

The history of colonialism, like the indigenous communities of other states, has torn indigenous Hawaiians from their land, language and culture.

Rosemond Pettigrew, chairwoman of Pouhana o na Wahine, a grassroots group of indigenous Hawaiian women who oppose domestic and sexual violence, said the country is family and not connected to the country. He said he was separating the Hawaiian indigenous people from the past.

“When you are no longer in the country, apart from what you know and believe, you will be left in a place where you do not know where you are from or who you are, and you will lose your identity,” she said .

Echo Hawk of the Urban Indian Health Institute said the Hawaiian task force was “monumental” and necessary to understand the full scope of the question.

She believes some of the biggest barriers are getting help from law enforcement and not having dedicated funding. The legislature has not allocated any money to the committee, so that its members fall back on existing resources for their research. The most successful state task force had funds, Echo Hawk said.

Paula Julian, a senior policy specialist at the National Center for Indigenous Womens Resources in Montana, said it was important for the task force to recognize that the problem is rooted in government policy. In the meantime, for Native Hawaiians, the solution has to come from Hawaiians, she said.

Pettigrew said he wanted resources to be protected. For example, Hawaii public schools can teach healthy relationships to students from the first grade of elementary school. Classes allow students to date after entering junior high and high school.

Native Hawaiian and Democratic MP, Staslin Eli, who backed the resolution to create the task force, said he had kidnapped friends and classmates. She doesn’t want her niece to experience the same thing because nobody knew enough to do anything about it.

“We survive. We want our employees to arrive where we are successful. And we protect and harm local women and children. I don’t think we’ll get to that point until we’re sure we keep the people trying to add it, ”she said.

The body plans to produce a legislative report for the states by the end of 2022 and 2023.

Panel addresses the problem of missing and murdered indigenous Hawaiian women | Nationwide

Source link panel deals with the problem of missing, murdered indigenous Hawaiian women | Nationwide

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