Being a Victim in Alaska May Be Only Half the Horror

In Alaska, there are many small communities that are extremely isolated. Harsh terrain spans vast distances between many villages spread throughout the state. In many, if not most cases, these villages are only reachable by plane. Add to this that many of these communities have very little or no police presence at all and it is easy to see how being a victim of criminal acts may only be the start of your troubles.

There are over 70 villages, made up of Native American inhabitants that are without police in Alaska. Victims must report a crime to the AST (Alaska State Troopers) and then settle in for a wait as it takes hours if not more for troopers to arrive.

The rate of violent crime in Alaska is among the highest in the nation, 56 percent higher than the average for the country. An even more staggering figure is that rapes occur at a rate nearly 200 percent higher than the average across the US.

Native Americans account for only 15 percent of the state’s population but comprise 61 percent of the total victims of sex assault. With some communities at rates of unemployment as high as 80 percent, pervasive problems with alcohol and drug abuse, and little to no immediate help for the law, these kind of crimes run rampant through the small communities and responses are slow, sometimes ineffective, and sometimes never come at all.

In one community, possessed of a small police force, a young woman’s home was entered unlawfully by a stranger who proceeded to rape her. She phoned the police to report the crime and when there was no answer, she recorded a message with their answering service. She never heard back from them.