Date of Award

12-2009

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Administration of Justice

First Advisor

Burruss, George

Abstract

AN ABSTRACT OF THE THESIS OF JOSEPH PIERRE KEENE, for the Master of Arts degree in Administration of Justice, presented on June 9, 2009, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. TITLE: An Analysis of Victim Lifestyle in Assessment of Victimization of Native-American Women MAJOR PROFESSOR: Dr. George Burruss Native-American women have endured victimization for five centuries. The problem of Native-American female victimization should be a topic of great concern but has not been studied very well. Dugan & Apel (2003) demonstrated that a young unmarried woman, frequently transient, living in an rural setting, having children under the age of 12, and going out every night predisposed Native-American women to violent victimization because "risk" factors were heightened and "protective" factors were jeopardized. However, this theoretical approach involved use of routine activities theory to help explain the situational context of Native-American female victimization, which possibly suggested victim blaming. Therefore, the use of lifestyle theory vs. analyzing "risk" and "protective" factors coinciding with routine activities theory was used to help explore the nature and extent of Native-American female victimization. This study used NCVS data from 2005 (n = 4252 cases; Caucasian (n = 2987), African-American (n = 522), American Indian (n = 104), Asian (n = 91), Hispanic (n = 541), Other (n = 7)) to explore the nature and extent of Native-American female victimization (U.S. Department of Justice, 2007). This analysis contributed to relevant literature in regards to Native-American female victimization by examining contributing factors that were linked to Native-American female victimization, and it also enhanced previous literature establishing the predicating factors that precipitated disproportionate statistical findings of Native-American women having the highest percentages of victimization of any race of woman in the U.S. Findings indicated that higher rates of victimization took place off tribal land more so than on tribal land for Native-American women, contrary to previous literature findings that Native-American female victims encountered higher incidents of victimization on reservations as opposed to non-reservation land (due to lack of prosecution, jurisdictional issues) (Amnesty International, 2007). Further research is needed to explore the lack of prosecution of crimes and conflicts of interest between U.S. and tribal laws in regards to their impact on the victimization of Native-American women. Furthermore, findings of Native-American women having the highest percentages of victimization of any race of woman in the U.S. have prompted further research.

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