Stand on the Side of Love with Native Women
“Native American communities have for many years asked their allies to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day. Doing so means more than just changing what our calendars call the second Monday in October, however. It means educating ourselves about the very real issues facing the indigenous peoples with whom our faith calls us to be in right relationship.”
- Rev. Dr. Michael Tino
As Rev. Tino implores, let us take this Indigenous Peoples Day to educate ourselves about the serious issues faced by the indigenous community. One of issues at the forefront this fall is the pending reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
The Senate version of this legislation makes important jurisdictional changes that would help protect native victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Between 2005 and 2009, U.S. Attorneys declined to prosecute 52% of violent crimes committed in Indian country, 67% of which were sexual abuse cases. The Senate version of VAWA would return concurrent tribal authority to investigate and prosecute domestic violence cases and give first responders–tribal police and tribal courts–the tools they need to stop violence in its early stages. You can read more detail about what these provisions entail here.
The Indian Law Resource Center created this heart-wrenching video to show why the tribal provisions in the VAWA legislation are so important for native communities:
Want to get involved? Click here to learn more about how you can speak out for a VAWA that includes protections for native victims of domestic & sexual abuse.