Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Condition. Discussion »
There is discussion Congress is due to act on the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act yet during this Lame Duck session of Congress. We hope this is the case.
Tell Congress to Better Protect Native Women
The reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act is overdue by at least a year.
Violence against anyone is wrong. Violence is against women in particular is inexcusable. Unfortunately, violence against Native women is a major problem.
The term violence against Native women applies to domestic abuse, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.
Here are two disturbing statistics that speak to the problem:
Given the complex jurisdictional scheme on tribal lands, the federal government has the primary responsibility to investigate and prosecute major crimes that occur on the reservation; yet, according to a 2010 GAO Study, United States Attorneys decline to prosecute 67 percent of sexual abuse and related matters that in Indian country.
Great work was done this year by the Senate when it passed Senate Bill 1925, Section 904 legislation in late May that inserted language that helped to better protect Native women. Unfortunately, the House resisted the language that was one of the major reasons the whole reauthorization has been stalled.
Sources have revealed that some leaders in the House are refusing to let the Violence Against Women Act proceed unless the tribal jurisdictional provisions are completely removed.
Please take time to contact your Representative today to let them know how important this legislation is in Indian country.
posted December 3, 2012 10:20 am est