Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women

 

So many names, so many faces; violence against women is a real problem within Native American communities. Many native women go missing and/or are murdered and exploited all of the time. Many native american women feel they do not have a voice and are therefore not recognized or even cared about by the mass public. The cases regarding missing/murdered native american women are more than I can count. They are numerous and most often, unheard of. In 2019, it’s estimated that 5,500 were still missing. The murder rates for indigneous women are also 10x the national average; that alone speaks volumes. Having descended from Native Americans myself, this hits close to home. 

This is a short profile of one of those murdered and forgotten about. She was a beautiful 19-year old woman, who belonged to the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe of North Carolina. Her name was Faith Hedgepeth. On September 7, 2012 her bloody body was found inside her apartment at the University of North Carolina by her roommate. The police apparently found an overwhelming amount of evidence, which included DNA and a composite of the killer that was created through that DNA. However, despite this evidence, the police are no closer to solving it today than the day she was murdered. This speaks to lack of motivation to solve the cases of missing & murdered women, and brings me back to the point that often Native women are often forgotten about. 

Police believe that she was beaten to death with a rum bottle, which the killer had left at the scene. They also found semen and a note written on a takeout bag and was left near her body. There was also evidence suggesting the killer was left-handed because most of her injuries were on the right side. It is mind-boggling to think about this and see that there is so much overwhelming evidence and nobody has been found yet. It has been almost eight years, and her story is not one we know about. 

Missing and murdered Native women are so important to me. They deserve so much more recognition, and help than they are given. There is so much stigma towards Native women, not just for being women but also for being Native American. We need to do more; there needs to be more done. So ask yourself every day, "What can I do for my sisters? How can I help stop violence against women in indigenous communities?"

 

Please look at her photos and remember her face and all of those like her.