Opinion

Gyasi Ross: Republicans don't want to protect Native women





"It is absolutely mind-numbing that anybody would be opposed to reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. Except rapists. Yeah, my guess is that 100% of rapists oppose the Violence Against Women Act. But other than rapists, it’s hard to imagine why anybody would oppose a federal law that

• Strengthens penalties for repeat sex offenders and creates a federal “rape shield law,” which prevents rapists from using survivors’ past sexual conduct against them during rape trials;

• Mandates that survivors not bear the expense of their own rape exams or for service of a protection order;

• Keeps survivors safe by requiring that a victim’s protection order will be recognized and enforced in all state, tribal, and territorial jurisdictions within the United States;

• Protects Native women from non-Native rapists by enabling tribal courts to prosecute non-native folks who live on tribal lands with all the same due process protections of federal court (including right to counsel).

Protect women, including Native women, from rape and not put women on trial when rapes do happen? That’s a good thing, right? Unfortunately, not so for most of the Republicans in the House of Representatives; they generally seem to be incredibly comfortable with the concept of rape. "

Get the Story:
Gyasi Ross: The Violence Against Women Act: Gun Rights, Idle No More, and Why Most House Republicans Say Rape Is OK (Indian Country Today 2/5)