1. Action Alert
  2. Native Americans

VAWA Reintroduced: Tell Congress to support protections for Native women!

By Lacina Tangnaqudo Onco , March 12, 2019

Fantastic news! On March 7, Reps. Karen Bass (CA-37) and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) introduced a bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (H.R. 1585). Not only does this bill secure vital funding for victim services, it also expands tribal jurisdiction to prosecute non-Native perpetrators of violence.

Tell Congress:

Reauthorize VAWA with increased protections for Native women.

Act Now 

The 115th Congress let VAWA expire for the first time in 25 years. The previous VAWA reauthorization in 2013 was a huge win as it gave tribal courts jurisdiction over non-Indians in domestic violence cases. With this newly introduced bill, crimes of sexual assault, stalking, and sex trafficking will be added to this jurisdiction. It will also protect children who are victims of domestic violence and tribal officers who are protecting their community from these crimes. By expanding tribal jurisdiction, we are strengthening protections for Native victims.

Provisions from Savanna’s Act, which did not past in the last Congress, are also included in this VAWA bill. Savanna’s Act address the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women by improving communication and coordination between federal, state, and local law enforcement as they investigate cases. It also improves data collection around missing persons cases and expands tribal access to federal crime databases, all of which are crucial to understanding and ending this epidemic.

We need you to act now! The House Judiciary Committee will vote on this bill on Wednesday, March 13. Your Representative needs to hear that you support the tribal provisions with H.R. 1585! Urge them to pass the bill with the tribal provisions and Savanna’s Act included.

Lacina Tangnaqudo Onco

  • Congressional Advocate, Native American Advocacy Program

Lacina Tangnaqudo Onco manages the Native American Advocacy program lobbying on legislation that affects Native communities. She builds connections between tribes, tribal organizations, and non-Indian allies, particularly among a wide range of faith groups, to ensure tribal needs are addressed.