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Obama administration plans bill to fight violence against women

Obama administration officials will unveil legislation to combat violence against Native women this afternoon.

Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli of the Department of Justice will be joined by Kimberly Teehee, the White House Senior Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs, and Lynn Rosenthal, the White House Advisor on Violence Against Women, on a conference call to discuss the proposed bill.

Perrelli testified at a Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing last Thursday about high rates of violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women. He suggested three potential fixes: recognize tribal criminal jurisdiction over domestic violence committed both by Indians and non-Indians; affirm tribal civil jurisdiction to enforce protection orders against Indians and non-Indians; and change federal laws to address domestic violence in Indian Country.

"Violence against Native women has reached epidemic rates," Perrelli said in his testimony.

In a letter to Vice President Joe Biden, who presides as president of the Senate, DOJ is asking for the three fixes to be included in legislation to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. Turtle Talk has posted the letter, which includes a draft of the legislation.

Related Stories:
Harold Monteau: Somewhere in Indian Country, domestic violence (7/18)
Karonienhawi Thomas: Saying no more to violence against women (7/18)
Ray Cook: Taking a stand to put end to violence in Indian Country (7/15)
Audio from Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing on women (7/14)

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