In July, I reported that Republican House leadership is blocking reauthorization of a strengthened Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). No one needs this bill passed more desperately than Native women: one in three will be raped in their lifetimes; two in five are victims of domestic violence; six in ten will be physically assaulted; and on some reservations, the murder rate of Native women is ten times the national average.
The Senate version of VAWA includes new protections for Native women by allowing tribal court systems to prosecute domestic violence abusers—whether the abuser is native or not. Currently, most sexual assaults and domestic violence crimes on Native lands go unpunished, particularly by non-Native abusers.
The Indian Law Resource Center has released a new short video to educate people on the issue and urge lawmakers to take action now. Check it out below, and take action here. Congress needs to know that even during election season, people still care about this issue and are paying attention.