Opinion

Column: Failing to respond to violence against Native women





"The Violence Against Women Act, providing funding for local programs and setting up an Office on Violence Against Women in the Department of Justice, was passed in 1994. Since then, Congress has twice reauthorized the legislation, fairly uneventfully.

But in the last Congress, after a healthy bipartisan majority passed a reauthorization in the Senate, it got hung up in the House. This week, reauthorization looks likely to pass the Senate again this week, but again House prospects are unclear. Thursday, Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and three Oregon district attorneys called for quick congressional action.

The hangup is over the Umatilla tribal reservation, and all the others across the country.

"Mr. President, the numbers are staggering," said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., on the Senate floor Thursday. "One in three Native women will be raped in their lifetimes, two in five of them are victims of domestic violence, and they are killed at 10 times the rate of the national average.""

Get the Story:
David Sarasohn: On domestic violence, House is off the reservation (The Oregonian 2/9)

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