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NCAI calls on Congress to pass Violence Against Women Act

The National Congress of American Indians is calling on Congress to update the Violence Against Women Act.

American Indian and Alaska Native women suffer from the highest rates of sexual assault and domestic violence. A majority of offenders are non-Indian but tribes lack criminal jurisdiction over them.

S.47, which was introduced in the Senate on Tuesday, changes the situation by recognizing tribal jurisdiction over non-Indians who commit domestic violence offenses on reservations. The bills enjoys supported from Democrats and Republicans.

“NCAI is encouraged by this bi-partisan step to act on VAWA in the 113th Congress and it is clear there is support across the board for a VAWA that includes the tribal provisions," NCAI President Jefferson Keel said in a press release "These narrow provisions are vital to the safety of our Native women and to the Native and non-Native communities where violent offenders are left unchecked if they commit specific crimes of domestic or sexual violence on tribal land."

A companion bill, H.R.11, was introduced in the House, where the tribal provisions failed to garner support in the 112th Congress.

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Democrats try again to extend anti-violence against women bill (AP 1/23)

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