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The Minneapolis Tribune had a startling story today about the abuse of American Indian children on North Dakota Spirit Lake Indian Reservation:

American Indians make up 9 percent of the state's population, however Indian children constitute nearly 30 percent of its child abuse victims according to a 2009 study by the Department of Health and Human Services. While statistics related to abuse at Spirit Lake are not public information, federal officials believe that the reservation has an even more significant child abuse problem than other reservations.

The story includes a number of horrid examples of children being abused and killed. Large numbers of sex offenders and many having access to children. This needs to be stopped.

The very best thing that comes out of exposure of these pedophiles is that they hopefully will never hurt another child. They need to be removed from any opportunity. For every person who looked the other way, there was an opportunity to make sure that these horrible events did not continue.

There are also concerns with the oversight:

The tribe, officials said, has not conducted required background checks before placing foster children, failed to make mandated monthly visits to children in foster care and illegally removed foster children from homes and placed them elsewhere without determining that the new homes would be safe.

Yet another reason why zero tolerance is done as a preventative measure. The key is preventing future children from being put in harm's way.

The very nature of having a strong tort system is to make sure that punishment is a deterrent. The addition of rare punitive damages is to send a message that these types of actions never take place again. With the federal and state issues concerning the reservations, this is one of the times when everyone should be working together to protect these survivors.

Abuse of children and the continued silence by the offenders needs to be prevented. If you suffered, saw, or suspected such events, it is important to know that there is help out there.

One Comment

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