STAND. COM. REP. NO. 289
President of the Senate
State of Hawaii
The purpose and intent of this measure is to request the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women (Commission) to convene a task force to conduct a study on missing and murdered Native Hawaiian women and girls and to submit a report on the study to the Legislature.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Judiciary, Department of Health, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Hawai‘i State Commission on the Status of Women, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii, Papa Ola Lokahi, Ho‘ola Nā Pua, and five individuals.
Your Committee finds that missing and murdered native women is a human rights crisis that disproportionately affects indigenous peoples in the United States and Canada, notably those in Native American communities. A corresponding mass movement in the United States and Canada has worked to raise awareness of missing and native women and girls. In the United States, one in three native women is sexually assaulted during her life and sixty-seven percent of these assaults are perpetuated by non-natives.
Your Committee further finds that there are concerns about the high rate of sexual violence against Native Hawaiian women. Native Hawaiians represent the largest ethnic group among sex abuse victims and Native Hawaiian girls are over-represented among juvenile runaways. Until 2019, there was no comprehensive data on the prevalence of sex trafficking victimization among Native Hawaiians or the sex market in Hawaii. In 2019, the Commission reported that current over-representation of Native Hawaiian women and girls in sex trafficking at present may directly be linked to vulnerabilities exclusive to the Hawaiian community, such as land dispossession, exposure to sexual violence, hypersexualization, incarceration, cultural dislocation, intergenerational trauma, mental and emotional distress, racism, poverty, and ongoing inequities. Seventy-seven percent of twenty-two sex trafficking victims were Native Hawaiian and one hundred percent identified as women. Of three hundred sixty-three willing participants, twenty-seven percent of participants surveyed were identified as having been sexually trafficked, with sixty-four percent of trafficking victims trafficked before the age of eighteen.
The potential prevalence of sex trafficking, sexual exploitation, and sexual abuse of Native Hawaiians heightens concerns that Native Hawaiians, and particularly Native Hawaiian women and girls may be at a higher risk of being murdered or gone missing. More data is needed to understand and address the social and systemic contexts of violence against Native Hawaiian women and girls, including their murder or disappearance.
Your Committee has amended this measure by making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Hawaiian Affairs that is attached to this report, your Committee concurs with the intent and purpose of S.C.R. No. 8, as amended herein, and recommends that it be referred to your Committee on Judiciary, in the form attached hereto as S.C.R. No. 8, S.D. 1.
MAILE S.L. SHIMABUKURO, Chair