Opinion: Native women deserve protection from their abusers

"Native women face the highest rate of domestic violence in the United States, nearly 31/2 times the national average.

According to the National Congress of American Indians,34 percent of American Indian and Alaska Native women will be raped in their lifetimes and 39 percent will be subjected to domestic violence. On some reservations, Native women are murdered at more than 10 times the national average.

It is a chilling legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery that more than 80 percent of the time, those who commit violence against indigenous women are nonindigenous.

But tribal courts have no authority to prosecute these nonindigenous abusers. Too often, a Native woman raped or beaten by her nonindigenous husband or boyfriend has no legal protection. Tribal authorities cannot intervene because the perpetrator is not Native; the state cannot intervene because the victim is Native; and the Federal government, which has jurisdiction, does not have the resources or infrastructure to intervene in domestic violence cases."

Get the Story:
Bonnie Anderson: Native American women need protection from violent acts (The Detroit News 5/18)

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