Reducing Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
Arizona Statewide Study in Partnership with the HB2570 Legislative Study Committee
Keywords:homicide, victimization, MMIWG, MMIP, missing persons, women and girls
The murder and missing of Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG) is an enduring national and international crisis in North America. The goal of this study is to expand knowledge about the prevalence of MMIWG and to identify culturally-accurate policy recommendations to reduce MMIWG. In 2019, the State of Arizona enacted legislation (HB 2570) which created a 23-person study committee charged with developing a statewide plan to reduce MMIWG. Our research team worked in close collaboration with the study committee for 18 months in a coordinated effort to understand the scope of MMIWG. Longitudinal homicide data (1978-2018) were examined from the Federal Bureau of Investigations Supplemental Homicide Reports as well as cross-sectional data from the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. Findings reveal that MMIWG has been occurring, and steadily increasing, over the past four decades in Arizona. While Indigenous women and girls of all ages are at risk of MMIWG, the average age Indigenous females go missing or are murdered is age 33 and 31, respectively. Geographic analysis of MMIWG cases reveal several hotspots throughout the state of Arizona, primarily among urban counties (57%). Given these findings, our study presents culturally-accurate policy recommendations, in consultation with Tribal community partners, to reduce MMIWG.\
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