Safe Women, Strong Nations

Sheila Harjo

 Silence Perpetuates Violence.  Join us during Domestic Violence Awareness Month in thanking the countless survivors -- like Sheila Harjo -- who have the strength to stand up and say "no more." 

President Obama signs VAWA Reauthorization into Law

Native women's advocates in the United States are praising lawmakers for passage of an inclusive, bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act that will afford protection to all women and victims of violence. The bipartisan bill, S. 47, passed by the Senate on February 12, 2013, and now by the House, 286 to 138, includes critical provisions to restore and strengthen tribal authority to protect Native women from violence in Indian country.

To the Indigenous Woman...

Native women are murdered at 10 times the national rate; 1 out 3 Native women will be raped in her lifetime, and 3 out of 5 physically assaulted. Even worse, 88% of the perpetrators are non-Indian and cannot be prosecuted by tribal governments. Stand and take action now to restore safety and justice for Native women. Do Something!

Center again calls on UN Human Rights Council to take action to end violence against indigenous women and girls

Center staff attending the UN Human Rights Council’s 33rd session (September 13-September 30) in Geneva are again calling for concrete measures to address the epidemic of violence against indigenous women and girls around the world, including American Indian and Alaska Native women.

Voisine et al. v. United States – Federal Firearm Ban Applies in All Tribal, Federal, or State Domestic Violence Convictions

On June 27, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision in Voisine et al. v. United States, 579 U.S. __ (2016), affirming that federal law (18 U.S.C. §922(g)(9)) prohibits gun ownership by individuals who have been convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor, regardless of whether the crime was committed with knowing, intentional, or reckless intent.

Senate Holds Hearing on the First Year of Implementation of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015

June 29, 2016 │ By Simon Gertler, 2016 Summer Sidley Fellow

On Tuesday, June 28, 2016, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing to receive testimony from the Department of Justice and Government Accountability Office on implementation of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 one year after its enactment.

The Statute

U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Dollar General Case Affirms Tribal Jurisdiction and Access to Justice for Native Women and Children

The United States Supreme Court released its decision June 23, 2016, in favor of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians in a 4-4 tie. The decision in Dollar General Corporation v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians affirms the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision, which upheld the Mississippi Band of Choctaw tribal courts’ civil jurisdiction. The decision affirms that tribes have inherent civil jurisdiction over non-Indian defendants who sexually assault Native women and children on tribal lands.

United States v. Bryant –Tribal Court Convictions Upheld as Basis for Federal Prosecutions of Repeat Domestic Assault Offenders

On June 13, 2016, the United States Supreme Court decided United States v. Bryant, 579 U.S. __ (2016), holding that uncounseled tribal court convictions that complied with the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968 were valid as entered and could be used as predicate offenses in federal prosecutions under 18 U.S.C. § 117(a) without violating the Sixth Amendment. 

Congressional Briefing on the Latest Data Regarding Violence against American Indian and Alaska Native Women and Men

On June 16th, the National Congress of American Indians, the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, and the Indian Law Resource Center are co-sponsoring a Congressional Briefing, to share information about the findings in The Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women and Men: 2010 Findings from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey.

New Report Confirms Violence Against Native Women is Worse than Previously Thought

The National Institute for Justice has published its latest research report examining the prevalence of intimate partner and sexual violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women and men. This report increases awareness about American Indian victimization to inform policies and practices surrounding implementation of VAWA 2013 special domestic violence jurisdiction over non-Indians. In addition, the report highlights a critical need for further measures to intensify and strengthen the response to violence against American Indian women, and particularly Alaska Native women. On June 16, the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, Indian Law Resource Center, and National Congress of American Indians will be holding a congressional briefing to inform lawmakers about these and other findings.

Senate Hearing on the Tribal Youth and Community Protection Act and the Tribal Law and Order Reauthorization Act of 2016

On Wednesday, May 18, 2016, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held a Legislative Hearing to receive testimony on two bills concerning tribal justice systems, the protection of Native women and children, and public safety in Indian Country:  

International Experts Explore Strategies to End Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls

A capacity crowd converged at the Church Center for the United Nations chapel on Tuesday, March 22, 2016, in New York City for Together We Are Stronger: Indigenous Women’s Movements to End Violence Against American Indian, Alaska Native, and Aboriginal Women. This event was intended to recognize, strengthen, and honor the growing global movement to end the human rights crisis of violence against Indigenous women and girls.

CSW60 Event Focuses on Ending Violence Against Native and Aboriginal Women

The UN Commission on the Status of Women will hold it’s 60th annual session in New York City on March 14-24, 2016. Composed of 45 member countries, the Commission is the global policy-making body for promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women. The Center, along with partners, submitted a joint written statement urging the Commission on the Status of Women to address the epidemic of violence against indigenous women in the United States, especially Alaska Native women in rural villages who have reported rates of domestic violence up to 10 times higher than in the rest of the United States and physical assault rates up to 12 times higher.


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