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Frontline: Closing a loophole in VAWA to help Native women

"A Senate proposal to allow tribal courts to try non-Native abusers on reservations is one of three controversial changes that for more than a year have stalled the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), a popular bipartisan bill since its first passage in 1994.

Additional proposals would have ban discrimination against LGBT people by domestic violence programs that receive federal dollars, and issue a backlog of unused visas for undocumented immigrants who are victims of domestic violence.

Last year, House Republicans objected to the additions and killed the Senate bill. Now it’s back on the agenda. Gay rights and immigration have sparked controversy in Congress before. But how did violence against Native American women suddenly become a third rail?

Nearly one in three Native American women have been raped in their lifetime, a much higher rate than the national average, which is about one in five, according to a 2010 study (pdf) by the Centers for Disease Control."

Get the Story:
Will the Violence Against Women Act Close a Tribal Justice “Loophole”? (PBS 2/4)

Related Stories:
Opinion: The Violence Against Women Act is on life support (01/28)
Matt Remle: Violence against women, violence against earth (1/25)
Haley Elkins: Media goes silent on the failure to pass VAWA (1/24)
NCAI calls on Congress to pass Violence Against Women Act (01/24)

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