Congress passes Tribal Law and Order Act provisions in H.R. 725!

HUGE thanks and a heartfelt congratulations to everyone who has been involved in Amnesty International’s Stop Violence Against Women work, and in particular, the work to end sexual violence and rape against Native American and Alaska Native women in the U.S.

The House just passed H.R. 725, to which the Tribal Law and Order Act was attached as an amendment, by a vote of 326 yays to 92 nays. This historic and long-overdue legislation will now go to President Obama to be signed into law!!

This will be the major solution for the long-overdue problem of disturbing rates of sexual violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women.

In 2007, Amnesty International published a report titled Maze of Injustice: The failure to protect Indigenous women from sexual violence in the USA that exposed the disproportionately high levels of rape and sexual violence that Native American and Alaska Native women suffer in this country. Additionally, it detailed the complex maze of tribal, state and federal jurisdictions that often allows perpetrators, 86 percent of them non-Native men, to rape with impunity. This maze currently dictates that authorities need to establish whether the crime took place on tribal lands and whether the perpetrator was Native or non-Native before prosecuting, meaning that critical time is lost. This leads to inadequate investigations or a failure to respond.

The provisons of the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 will remedy this maze as it will enhance the criminal justice system by improving coordination and communication between federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies as well provide beginning steps to empower tribal governments to take more direct action in cases of violent crime. In time it will decrease the high levels of rape and finally provide Native women with effective recourse if they are sexually assaulted. This is a major victory for Native women as it is a critical step toward ensuring that Native women’s human rights are recognized.

Our deepest respect, appreciation and congratulations to all of our members and activists, tribal leaders and Native advocates, friends, family and colleagues – without you this incredible victory would not have been possible.

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6 thoughts on “Congress passes Tribal Law and Order Act provisions in H.R. 725!

  1. Good news, but–”the long-overdue problem”? Who writes this stuff?

  2. In Alaska, it is not only Native women who are raped with impunity…having used to live there and being a survivor of the exact crime and nothing being done to my assailant, I had run across several white women as myself there also, when I showed interest in working maybe at a remote fishing lodge, some female would say: "they'll rape you" or interest in working for Fish and Game, same exact statement from someone who did and was also assaulted. Alaska is a state of impunity and double standards..just don't dare illegal fish or hunt, they will nail you to the wall.
    I lived with the Native Alaskans in a village, and along with them in towns..and always were friends with them and have great respect for them and their culture and traditions.
    I plan on helping to give these brave Native women a voice..which is long overdue..

  3. In Alaska, it is not only Native women who are raped with impunity…having used to live there and being a survivor of the exact crime and nothing being done to my assailant, I had run across several white women as myself there also, when I showed interest in working maybe at a remote fishing lodge, some female would say: “they’ll rape you” or interest in working for Fish and Game, same exact statement from someone who did and was also assaulted. Alaska is a state of impunity and double standards..just don’t dare illegal fish or hunt, they will nail you to the wall.
    I lived with the Native Alaskans in a village, and along with them in towns..and always were friends with them and have great respect for them and their culture and traditions.
    I plan on helping to give these brave Native women a voice..which is long overdue..