Monday, June 22, 2015

Domestic Abusers Have Gone Unpunished in Native American Country — Until Now

According to the Department of Justice, the rate of violent victimization among Native American women was more than double the rate of all women between 1992 and 2002 (the most recent figures available). During that same time period, nearly 60 percent of Native victims described their attacker as white.

But two years ago the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA) took effect, creating a pilot project that gave three tribes the ability to exercise jurisdiction over non-Native offenders who committed domestic or dating violence, or who violated protection orders in tribal territories. Given its preliminary success, the program has been hailed as a baby step toward restoring tribal sovereignty; in March of this year, the program was opened up to all 566 tribes in the US.


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