For Immediate Release
April 27, 2012
Contact: Trav Robertson
Oklahoma City – Yesterday, the United States Senate passed SB 1925, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, without the consent of Oklahoma’s Senators Tom Coburn and Jim Inhofe. This continues a pattern of bad behavior of the Oklahoma Republican Party’s war against women. The VAWA was first signed into law in 1994 by President Clinton, and was reauthorized in 2000 and 2005.
The legislation will protect approximately 150,000 Native American women in Oklahoma who could be at risk. In a regional survey conducted by University of Oklahoma researchers showed that nearly three out of five Native American women had been assaulted by their spouses or intimate partners. In addition, a recent Center for Disease Control (CDC) study found that approximately 46 percent of Native American women have experience rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
With non-Indians constituting more than 76 percent of the overall population living on reservations and other Indian lands, interracial dating and marriage are common, and many of the abusers of Native American women are non-Indian men. Too often, non-Indian men who batter their Indian wives and girlfriends go unpunished because tribes cannot prosecute non-Indians, even if the offender lives on the reservation and is married to a tribal member, and because Federal law-enforcement resources are hours away from reservations and stretched thin.
Congress can close this jurisdictional gap in the criminal justice system by supporting the Leahy-Crapo bill and providing tribes with the authority to hold offenders accountable for their crimes against Native American women, regardless of the perpetrator’s race. This bill builds on the Tribal Law and Order Act – which President Obama signed on July 29, 2010 – to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of tribal justice systems and will provide additional tools to tribal and Federal prosecutors to address domestic violence in Indian Country.
The bill has passed the Senate and will now move to be heard in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Call the OK GOP Chairman Matt Pinnell to demand that he convince these Republican Senators to protect women in Oklahoma.
Call them to stop the war on women:
Senator Tom Coburn: (202)-224-5754
Senator Jim Inhofe: (202)-224-4721
Oklahoma Republican Party: (405)-528-3501