FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 5, 2012
For more information contact:
Ginny Underwood (405) 229-7210
(Helena, Mont.) -- The Indian Law Resource Center released a new short video this week urging lawmakers to reauthorize a stronger version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to protect Native women from violence.
In the video, Native women raise awareness about statistics that show one in three of them will be raped in their lifetime and six in ten will be physically assaulted. Even worse, on some reservations, the murder rate for Native women is ten times the national average.
“I want the rights afforded other women in this country. I want to be safe and when my safety is violated, I want justice,” says a young Native woman in the video.
“By passing a stronger VAWA reauthorization, lawmakers have an opportunity to fix a longstanding jurisdictional gap in United States law,” said Jana Walker, senior attorney and director of the Indian Law Resource Center’s Safe Women, Strong Nations project. “Lawmakers must take immediate action to stop the epidemic rates of violence against Native women—rates 2½ times higher than any other group of women in the United States.”
In April, the Senate passed S. 1925, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act with provisions that would help tribes address domestic violence and dating violence in Indian country; however, the House passed a version stripping out these provisions. Since then, procedural logjams and politics have kept Congress from taking action.
“Congress is being called on to stand with Indian nations to stop this epidemic of violence against Native women. We encourage people to share the clip on their social media channels and repost or tweet the link,” said Walker. “The video is a way everyone can help raise awareness and urge strong and immediate action to restore safety to Native women.”
The video was co-produced by the Center and Native filmmaker Ryan Red Corn, co-founder of Buffalo Nickel Creative. Red Corn also produced “To The Indigenous Woman” which was released by the Center in October 2011. For more information or to download and share the VAWA video, visit www.indianlaw.org.