For generations, Native American women have been victimized at astonishing rates, with federal figures showing that more than half have encountered sexual and domestic violence at some point during their lives — even amid a wave of efforts aimed at reducing such crimes.

The statistics reinforce arguments that the criminal justice system still fails to protect these women, and its shortcomings again are being exposed as another crisis gains attention: the disappearances of hundreds of Native American and Alaska Native women and girls from across the United States.

In the past decade, Congress responded to the problem of violence against Native American women with intensely debated legislation seeking to close legal loopholes, improve data collection and increase funding for training of tribal police. Those efforts have proven severely limited, however, prompting advocates to again push for more reforms.