A few weeks ago, I met with a native family from the Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone tribe.

They were standing with me outside a public meeting in Orovada, Nevada, protesting a proposed open-pit lithium mine which Lithium Americas Corporation (and its local subsidiary, Lithium Nevada Corporation) plans to carve into Thacker Pass, Nevada.

Besides depleting the aquifer and poisoning water, bulldozing cultural sites and hunting and gathering areas, air pollution issues, and the many other problems that would be caused by this mine, one of their major concerns is the impact a project like this has on women and girls in the surrounding communities.

Around the world, there is a direct link between major infrastructure projects like open-pit mines and a rise in sexual abuse, sex trafficking, drug trafficking, and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW).

Violence against women and girls disproportionately affects native people — rates are around double the average. But while this violence may disproportionately fall on native women and girls, of course, it doesn’t just affect them. Members of the ranching and agricultural communities around Thacker Pass who I’ve spoken with are worried about the same issues. Someone is sexually assaulted every 73 seconds in the United States.

Read the rest of this article at Sierra Nevada Ally