Column: Update to Violence Against Women Act still in limbo

"The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), created to protect women from domestic and sexual violence, has flown through periodic reauthorizations in both houses with bi-partisan support since its creation in 1994.

Sadly, not this year -- yet.

Before recessing in August, and largely off the public's radar, the Republican-controlled House passed a watered-down version that rejects protections for undocumented immigrants, American Indians, LGBT individuals and college students. These groups experience disproportionately high rates of violence.

Suzanne Koepplinger, executive director of the Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center, is understandably offended by the implication that only certain women "deserve" protections.

One in three American Indian women will be raped in her lifetime, according to Amnesty International, the highest rate for any group. "It is an epidemic of violence," Koepplinger said, "which makes Congress' inaction all the more inexcusable.""

Get the Story:
Gail Rosenblum: Minnesota agencies rely on anti-violence act that's in limbo (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 9/11)

Related Stories:
Opinion: Sexual violence is tearing Native communities apart (9/10)
Video: Indian Law Resource Center for reauthorization of VAWA (09/06)
Sarah Deer: Protecting Indian women with our justice systems (08/30)
Opinion: Native women exploited again for political purposes (08/23)
Editorial: Prosecute non-Indian offenders in federal system (8/21)
Sen. Murray still pushing for tribal jurisdiction provision in VAWA (8/15)
Impasse continues on renewal of Violence Against Women Act (07/31)
Opinion: Senate version of VAWA helps American Indian women (7/23)
Sarah Deer: Stopping violence against women through tribal law (07/16)
Opinion: Republicans add insult to injury on VAWA reauthorization (07/09)
Senate Democrats call for inclusion of tribal provisions in VAWA (6/27)
Blog: Sexual assault at epidemic level among Native Americans (6/26)
Opinion: Race, tribal authority and Violence Against Women Act (05/29)
Tulalip Tribes vice chair shares personal story for VAWA debate (05/23)
BIA disputes Republican report on Violence Against Women Act (5/18)
The Votes: Crossing party lines on Violence Against Women Act (5/18)
Opinion: Native women deserve protection from their abusers (5/18)
Tribes slam weakened version of Violence Against Women Act (5/17)
House approves version of VAWA bill without tribal provisions (5/17)
GOP bill report questions data on crime against Indian women (5/16)

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