Opinion

Lise Balk King: Indian women need protections in VAWA update





"In the case of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the bill that seeks to protect victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, the fix will take only the stroke of a pen. There is no diplomatic negotiation needed, no political capital to be played, no long-term reputational cost to be considered. And yet, our House of Representatives just can't seem to get it done.

The current version of VAWA includes new provisions for immigrants, members of the LBGT community, and Indian Country. The Senate has passed the bill. The House has approved a version that does not include the provision for Native American women.

GOP Congressional House leaders, particularly Eric Cantor (R-VA), oppose this portion of the Violence Against Women Act, calling it "unconstitutional." What is really behind this refusal is unclear.

The provision for Native Americans provides a crucial jurisdictional fix for a loophole in the criminal justice system. If you are a Native American woman assaulted on Indian land, the tragic odds are that you will not be offered protection by the law. "

Get the Story:
Lise Balk King: It's Time for Congress to Stop Politicizing VAWA and End a Human Rights Crisis (The Huffington Post 12/18)

Related Stories:
Brian Paterson: Indian women need protections from violence (12/14)
NCAI remains hopeful on legislation to protect Indian women (12/13)
Salon: Abusers get away with violence against Indian women (12/13)
Opinion: Native women still waiting on Congress to take action (12/12)
Rep. Darrell Issa introduces Violence Against Indian Women Act (12/4)
NCAI optimistic on a land-into-trust fix, VAWA during lame-duck (11/09)