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Opinion
Harjo: Native women aren't safe in Indian Country


"The streets of Indian country aren't safe for American Indian and Alaska Native women. Nearly 90 percent of the perpetrators of violent crimes against Native women are non-Indians - 60 percent are white men - and Native nations can't touch them.

Congress created this haven for non-Indian criminals on reservations and it's up to Congress to fix it. The 109th Congress has a chance to do that very thing this year, when it considers reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.

VAWA 2005 is being drafted now to address the deplorable situation of women in America, where physical abuse is a feature of one-quarter of all marriages and where one-third of women who are treated in emergency rooms are victims of domestic violence.

While Native women also sustain injuries in abusive relationships, most of the men who assault Native women are strangers or acquaintances (80 percent) rather than intimate partners or family members (20 percent), according to a U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics report, 'American Indians and Crime (1992 - 2002),' issued in December 2004."

Get the Story:
Harjo: Congress: Make the streets safe for Indian women, too! (Indian Country Today 4/28)

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