Lawless

Sexual Violence in Alaska

The Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica are investigating sexual violence in Alaska, and why the situation isn’t getting better.

Featured

Unheard

Alaska has the highest rate of sexual assault in the nation. Yet it is a secret so steeped into everyday life that discussing it disrupts the norm. These women and men did not choose to be violated, but they now choose to speak about what happened.

Lawless

At least one in three Alaska villages has no local law enforcement. Sexual abuse runs rampant, public safety resources are scarce, and Governor Mike Dunleavy wants to cut the budget.

Have You Experienced Sexual Violence in Alaska? We’d Like To Hear Your Story.

The Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica have teamed up to listen. Do you work with victims, in government or law enforcement? We need to hear from you, too.

Other Entries

Giving Voice to Alaska’s Unheard Sexual Assault Survivors

We’re publishing our most ambitious effort yet to give voice to those who have been sexually assaulted in Alaska. We have talked to hundreds of survivors over the past year who have shared their stories.

How Photographers Sought to Redefine the Image of Alaska’s Sexual Assault Survivors

In capturing these photographs, the aim was to portray the underlying courage and strength of each person and to focus on who they had become.

Here’s What Experts Say to Do After Experiencing Sexual Assault

We consulted six professionals in Alaska who work with survivors of sexual assault, including a therapist, a law enforcement officer, advocates for survivors, a nurse and a prosecutor. We compiled their guidance on the choices survivors can make.

How We Worked With Survivors of Sexual Assault in Alaska to Tell Their Stories

Journalists from ProPublica and the Anchorage Daily News spent months hearing from, and listening to, dozens of survivors about how they processed their trauma. Here’s how we told these stories fairly and accurately.

An Elementary School Repeatedly Dismissed Allegations Against Its Principal. Then, an FBI Agent Pretended to Be a 13-Year-Old Girl.

The principal for one of Alaska’s largest rural elementary schools, in a region with some of the highest sex crime rates in the country and a state with a history of failing to protect students, was allowed to remain on the job until the FBI got involved.

ProPublica and Local Reporting Partner Anchorage Daily News Win Pulitzer Prizes for National Reporting and Public Service

The two designations are ProPublica’s 6th Pulitzer win in 12 years and the first Pulitzer awarded to a Local Reporting Network partner.

Sex Offenders Were Becoming Cops. After Our Stories, Alaska’s Governor Wants That To End.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s proposed law comes after Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica found that dozens of rural Alaskan police officers had been hired despite criminal convictions.

Alaska’s Public Safety Officer Program Is Failing. Can It Be Saved?

A big part of Alaska’s law enforcement crisis is a program that recruits residents of remote villages and trains them to work as police. Now, a group of state legislators is proposing nine ideas to rescue the program.

How a Police Officer in Iowa Helped Protect an Alaskan Police Force — From Thousands of Miles Away

He read our story about Alaska’s policing problems and began raising money to send supplies to the small Police Department in Savoonga. His efforts may save his fellow officers’ lives.

Alaska’s Law Enforcement Crisis Is a Public Emergency. Here’s How Experts Want to Fix It.

More than a third of Alaska communities have no local police of any kind. Criminals have been hired as cops in some remote villages. A federal emergency has been declared and millions of dollars are promised, but here’s what else experts recommend.

We Found Villages That Hired Criminals as Cops. Now Officials Want It To Change.

The Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica found small Alaska cities have employed police whose criminal records should have prevented them from being hired. Now, the state board is working to ensure they meet basic hiring standards.

In Search of Solutions to Alaska’s Law Enforcement Crisis

We spent a year investigating how Alaska’s sexual violence crisis is compounded by a lack of law enforcement. Now, we’re looking at the system and how it can be fixed.

These Cops are Supposed to Protect Rural Villages. They’re in the Suburbs Instead.

Many remote Alaska Native villages have no law enforcement at all. But state troopers can be found in wealthier, and mainly non-Native, suburbs, where growing communities have resisted paying for their own police department.

Alaska’s Uneven Rural Law Enforcement System Often Leaves Remote Villages With No Cops

A tiny Alaskan village got a police officer. He’s never had to make an arrest. Meanwhile, larger communities with more crime have often been left behind as the state’s two-tiered policing crisis gets worse.

After the Last Cop Killed Himself, All the Criminals Have to Do Is Hide

Days before his death in 2005, Simeon Askoak told officials how an Alaskan rural policing program was broken. His village hasn’t had another permanent cop since.

Justice Department Will Fund More Prosecutors, Jails and Cops in Rural Alaska

To improve what it calls a public safety emergency, the DOJ detailed how it will spend $10.5 million. Alaska Native advocates want long-term reforms to increase their role in local justice systems as well.

She Leapt From a Moving Car to Escape Her Rapist. Then, She Waited 18 Years for an Arrest.

Anna Sattler’s rape kit sat untested since 2001 as Alaska’s backlog got worse. Now, an ex-Iditarod musher faces charges, and she’s speaking publicly about the attack for the first time.

We’ve Heard From Nearly 300 Survivors of Sexual Assault in Alaska. But There Are More of You We’d Like to Reach.

We’re continuing to report on sexual violence and need your help with what’s next.

Clergy Abused an Entire Generation in This Village. With New Traumas, Justice Remains Elusive.

Long before city officials said they had no choice but to hire criminals as cops, justice evaded the Norton Sound village of Stebbins and neighboring St. Michael.

Follow ProPublica

Latest Stories from ProPublica