Re: “Justice delayed for murdered and missing Indigenous women” [Nov. 9, Opinion]:
I appreciate the editorial and the awareness it raises on behalf of murdered and missing Indigenous women (MMIW), especially how it mentions that Native American and Alaskan women experience higher rates of violence than other groups of women in the U.S.
I agree with the overall message of the editorial in support of ending the epidemic of MMIW. However, I disagree with the view that increased law enforcement response is the best way to improve the problem. According to the Vera Institute of Justice, “increased incarceration rates have no demonstrated effect on violent crime and in some instances may increase crime.” While I agree that there should be consequences for perpetrators and justice for survivors, incarcerating perpetrators will only perpetuate the cycle of abuse that leads people to be abusive.
What social services can we implement or improve to prevent people from becoming abusers and to ensure protection for Indigenous women? I think we should be thinking about this question as well as law enforcement responses in discussions about MMIW.
Grace Wark, Bellingham