A Slow Head Shake for the House of Representatives Over the Failure of the Violence Against Women Act:
From a late 2012 report from the organization Futures Without Violence: "The Facts on Violence Against American Indian/Alaskan Native Women":
- American Indian women residing on Indian reservations suffer domestic violence and physical assault at rates far exceeding women of other ethnicities and locations. A 2004 Department of Justice report estimates these assault rates to be as much as 50% higher than the next most victimized demographic.
- According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs at least 70% of the violent victimizations experienced by American Indians are committed by persons not of the same race— a substantially higher rate of interracial violence than experienced by white or black victims.
- Federal government studies have consistently shown that American Indian women experience much higher levels of sexual violence than other women in the U.S. Data gathered by the U.S. Department of Justice indicates that Native American and Alaskan Native women are more than 2.5 times more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted than women in the USA in general.
- In addition to practical problems of funding, training, coordination, and jurisdictional complexities, tribal governments suffer from an inability to use what sovereignty duties they are realistically allowed to implement. Researchers have suggested that the erosion of the tribal government’s ability to address crime significantly harms American Indian and Alaska Native women in particular. American Indian advocates argue that tribal government’s inability to prosecute non-American Indian and Alaska Natives attracts offenders of various crimes to Indian country.
One of the reasons Republicans opposed reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act was the issue of giving tribal governments jurisdiction over white men who assault Native American women. To have done so would have given clarity to who enforces what laws and how, a threadbare patchwork, at best, now. To oppose it is, well, savage.