Urgent Action Needed on VAWA Tribal Provisions
In past few days, there has been real progress in talks with Senate and House leadership about passing a final VAWA now. However, Republican House leadership is still resistant to including tribal provisions that would protect countless Native women from the brutal violence they face every day. Victims face dire and life-threatening violence on tribal lands and advocates are unwilling to accept a bill that leaves those victims without access to justice.
Earlier this week, Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and some of his Republican colleagues introduced H.R. 6625, the Violence Against Indian Women Act, which contains compromise solutions to help address opponents' constitutional concerns regarding tribal court jurisdiction and move VAWA forward.
Congressman Issa's bill has given us a path forward that allows us to protect all victims. But House leadership needs to hear from you. Urge them to accept this compromise and pass a VAWA that protects all victims.
Action Item #1:
- Call 202.224.3121 to connect to the Capitol switchboard. Then ask to be connected to your U.S. Representative (www.house.gov).
- Ask your Members of Congress to tell you that they will sign on as a co-sponsor or pledge their support for the Issa-Cole language (H.R. 6625).
Action Item #2:
- Call Speaker Boehner and Leader Cantor and tell them that a final VAWA that does not protect Native women and does not hold perpetrators accountable is unacceptable.
- Urge them to support the Issa-Cole compromise on tribal provisions (H.R. 6625) and include that language in VAWA so that a final bill can move forward to protect all victims.
American Indian and Alaska Native women are abused, raped and stalked at far greater rates that any other population of women in United States – 6 out of 10 will be physically assaulted in their lifetime, and 1 in 3 Native women will be raped. Eighty-eight percent of the abuse against Native women is committed by non-Native men—but this abuse goes unchecked because police officers, prosecutors and judges on tribal lands do not have the ability to perform their legal obligations regarding these non-Native men. This is simply unconscionable. Each of us has an opportunity, now, to right this wrong. We, and our tribal colleagues, support Issa-Cole as a reasonable alternative, but we need your action to ensure that Members of Congress also stand behind this proposal.