Renee Roman Nose: A victory for Native women in VAWA update

Renee Roman Nose discusses the long battle for S.47, a bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act:
February 28 marks the first day in the history of the United States when Native women living on reservations will be offered equal protection from violent criminals as most non-reservation women had since the original passage of VAWA ten years ago. The House version would have stripped the bill of protections for Native American women, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, and illegal immigrant women.

One of three Native women will be raped in her lifetime, she might be your Grandmother, your Mother, your sister, cousin, friend, neighbor, your Facebook buddy, she might be me. This is my story, too. Molested at age 6, survived my first attempted rape in elementary school, my second in my mid-thirties. The statistics don’t tell you about the fear you live with, they don’t deal with the aftermath, the reality of living with what has happened to you. It wasn’t your fault, you didn’t ask for it, you didn’t want it and, if your luck is as bad as mine, the police will tell you that you cannot press charges as it’s, “Your word against his.” How many of our women have heard this? Too many. How many of our children have lived with this kind of abuse and violence over the years? Too many.

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Renee Roman Nose: VAWA Victory! (Indian Country Today 3/1)

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