The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization has passed the U.S. House by a vote of 286 – 138. It includes the U.S. Senate provisions that allow tribal courts to prosecute non-Indians who commit violence against women and families on Indian lands. The Senate passed the same bill on February 12.The legislation now goes on to President Barack Obama to be signed into law.
“I’ve seen firsthand the troubles and hardships that our tribes experienced … Native American women are two and a half times more likely to be assaulted in their lifetimes than other women,” Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.) said in a floor speech before the vote. “Now I represent 12 Native American tribes, and I am here standing on the floor of Congress to give them a voice.”
More to come.