Tribal Court Clearinghouse          
           
 

Domestic Violence Resources

The following documents and hyperlinks should be of assistance to tribal court personnel, tribal law enforcement personnel, domestic violence victim service agency personnel, social services personnel, and others in handling domestic violence cases and issues. Moreover, it should be of assistance in enforcing the Violence Against Women Act.

Sharing our Stories of Survival Trainer’s Manual is a guide specifically for those interested in providing workshop presentations based on the chapters of Sharing our Stories of Survival. A course on Violence Against Native Women might be taught in any number of disciplines: for example, social work, psychology, advocacy, history, legal studies, criminal justice, nursing, or medicine. However, a full semester or quarter-long course is not always feasible - learning may take place at conferences, meetings, community gatherings, or staff trainings. This manual is specifically designed to give guidance to presenters of workshops, conference plenary sessions, and staff and community training by domestic violence and sexual assault advocates.

 

 http://www.tribal-institute.org/newimages/new.gif The Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization 2013 was enacted March 7, 2013. Visit our Violence Against Women Act page to learn more, including about Title IX: Safety for Indian Women.

 http://www.tribal-institute.org/newimages/new.gif Responses to the Co-Occurrence of Child Maltreatment and Domestic Violence in Indian Country: Repairing the Harm and Protecting Children and Mothers http://www.tribal-institute.org/newimages/pdf-1.gif December 2011 (Draft) - The Tribal Law and Policy Institute, with funding from the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), has undertaken an initial inquiry into the issue of the co-occurrence of domestic violence and child maltreatment in Indian country. Using a mixed method approach, this investigation sought to identify those practices that seem to be moving toward Native-specific promising practices, and to develop recommendations for further action in Indian country. Please note that this report is a draft version, since the final has not yet been formally approved by OVW.

Responses to the Co-Occurrence of Child Maltreatment and Domestic Violence in Indian Country: Repairing the Harm and Protecting Children and Mothers December 2011 (Draft) - The Tribal Law and Policy Institute, with funding from the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), has undertaken an initial inquiry into the issue of the co-occurrence of domestic violence and child maltreatment in Indian country. Using a mixed method approach, this investigation sought to identify those practices that seem to be moving toward Native-specific promising practices, and to develop recommendations for further action in Indian country. Please note that this report is a draft version, since the final has not yet been formally approved by OVW.
The Tribal Law and Policy Institute has partnered with the California Administrative Office of the Courts to conduct the Native American Communities Justice Project (NACJP), an investigation into the issue of family violence in California Native Communities.

Violence Against Native Women Publications

Tribal Legal Code Resource: Domestic Violence Laws was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in cooperation with the Office on Violence Against Women and the Bureau of Justice Assistance. This Victim-Centered Approach to Domestic Violence Against Native Women resource guide includes exercises, examples, and discussion questions to help you customize your laws to meet the needs of your community. This resource was revised and updated January 2012, including changes addressing issues concerning the 2010 enactment of the Tribal Law and Order Act.

Tribal Legal Code Resource: Tribal Judge’s Sexual Assault Bench Book and Bench Card was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in cooperation with the Office on Violence Against Women as a resource for tribal judges who hear sexual assault cases in tribal courts. It provides background information on important sexual assault and tribal jurisdictional issues, as well as providing guidance in handling key issues at various stages of a sexual assault criminal trial.

Tribal Domestic Violence Case Law: Annotations for Selected Cases was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in cooperation with the Office on Violence Against Women as a resource for tribal judicial officers in understanding how some tribal governments have handled certain legal issues within the context of domestic violence cases. While a great deal of research has been done on case law in the state systems, little to no analysis has been done on the tribal judicial approach to domestic violence. This compendium, developed as part of an overall code-writing workshop curriculum for tribal governments, will assist tribal legislators as well. Understanding how laws are interpreted by the court systems may impact the development of laws that provide safety to tribal citizens.

Listen to the Grandmothers Video Discussion Guidebook (Note: this PDF is one megabyte) was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in order to assist tribal programs with incorporating cultural traditions into contemporary responses to violence against Native women. The "Listen to the Grandmothers” video features Native elders speaking to the problem of violence against Native women. The video provides a historical overview of violence against Native women, traditional responses to such violence and an analysis on incorporating cultural traditions into contemporary responses to violence against Native women. For information concerning the video and accompanying guidebook, please contact the Minnesota office of the Tribal Law and Policy Institute. Due to the sensitive nature of this video, we welcome the opportunity to provide onsite training and technical assistance on the use of these products.

Sharing our Stories of Survival: Native Women Surviving Violence is a general introduction to the social and legal issues involved in acts of violence against Native women, this book's contributors are lawyers, advocates, social workers, social scientists, writers, poets, and victims. In the U.S. Native women are more likely than women from any other group to suffer violence, from rape and battery to more subtle forms of abuse, and Sharing Our Stories of Survival explores the causes and consequences of such behavior. The stories and case-studies presented here are often painful and raw, and the statistics are overwhelmingly grim; but a countervailing theme also runs through this extremely informative volume: Many of the women who appear in these pages are survivors, often strengthened by their travails, and the violence examined here is human violence, meaning that it can be changed, if only with much effort and education. The first step is to lay out the truth for all to see, and that is the purpose accomplished by this book.

TribalProtectionOrder.org Launched - Under a grant from the Office on Violence Against Women, the Tribal Law and Policy Institute has launched a new website, TribalProtectionOrder.org, which is designed to provide both tribal and non-tribal entities with a clearinghouse of information and resources pertaining to the issuance and enforcement of protection orders.

Amnesty International issues One year Update to Maze Of Injustice Report (July 15, 2008) Amnesty International released a One Year Update to its initial April 25, 2007 Report entitled "Maze of Injustice." Native women are victimized at 2.5 times the rate of other racial and ethnic groups. Their attackers are more likely to be non-Native, according to government statistics. But tribal governments are hindered by federal law and court decisions. They cannot prosecute non-Natives and they cannot impose a sentence greater than one year or fines of greater than $5,000. State and federal governments can prosecute non-Indians. But Native women advocates say the crimes often go unprosecuted. "Maze of Injustice: The failure to protect Indigenous women from sexual violence in the USA focuses on three areas: Oklahoma, Alaska and the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North and South Dakota. It contains the stories of Native women victims and makes more than 50 recommendations to change the justice system. More Information >>>

Native American and Alaska Native women in the United States suffer disproportionately high levels of rape and sexual violence, yet the federal government has created substantial barriers to accessing justice, Amnesty International. View excerpts from Amnesty's launch of the 113-page report, "Maze of Injustice."

If something about your relationship with your partner scares you and you need to talk, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224.

Under a grant from the Office on Violence Against Women, the Tribal Law and Policy Institute has developed and posted a Tribal Protection Order website (see www.TribalProtectionOrder.org ). This website is designed to provide both tribal and non-tribal entities with a clearinghouse of information and resources pertaining to the issuance and enforcement of protection orders.

Tribal Domestic Violence Case Law: Annotations for Selected Tribal Cases Related to Domestic Violence Adobe Acrobat Reader is Required to View this File. is designed to assist tribal judicial officers in understanding how some tribal governments have handled certain legal issues within the context of domestic violence cases. While a great deal of research has been done on case law in the state systems, little to no analysis has been done on the tribal judicial approach to domestic violence. This compendium, developed as part of an overall code-writing workshop curriculum for tribal governments, will assist tribal legislators as well. Understanding how laws are interpreted by the court systems may impact the development of laws that provide safety to tribal citizens.

Raising Public Awareness on Domestic Violence in Indian Country Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view this file is published in collaboration with the South Dakota Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, its member organizations and Native American advocates throughout the state, Cangleska, Inc., the violence against women intervention and shelter program on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, developed domestic violence public awareness materials focusing specifically on rural and Native American communities. 

Domestic Violence and Tribal Protection of Indigenous Women in the United States, by Gloria Valencia-Weber and Christine P. Zuni
The essential Navajo value is that while men and women are distinct, they relate as complementary equals. That kind of relationship creates, or should create, an environment that views violence toward women as deviant behavior. Under Navajo common law, violence toward women, or mistreatment of them in any way, is illegal ...

Victim Rights in Indian Country - an Assistant United States Attorney Perspective Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view this file by US Attorney Christopher Chaney (United States Attorneys' Bulletin sponsored by the Department of Justice) provides an excellent overview of issues facing federal prosecutors working with victims of crime in Indian Country.

A Tribal Court Bench Book for Domestic Violence Cases Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view this file was produced by the Northwest Tribal Court Judges Association under a grant from the Office on Violence Against Women of the U.S. Department of Justice. The Tribal Court Bench Book is a general guideline with recommendations to help tribal courts deal with domestic violence cases. It is arranged into three sections: Pre-Trial, Trial, and Post-Trial. The Bench Book is the result of a year-long process to which tribal judges devoted many hours of personal time. That effort has created a unique legal guide on domestic violence by tribal court judges for tribal court judges.

The Southwest Center for Law and Policy is a non-profit organization providing legal education and technical assistance on domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse, child abuse, abuse of disabled persons, and stalking in tribal communities. The center is located in Tucson, Arizona and travel the nation training law enforcement, attorneys, judges, victim advocates, tribal lay legal advocates, health care professionals, and community members. The center has also posted the following articles:

Clan Star was created to provide consultant services on program and policy development to strengthen tribal justice systems. Particular focus is on advocacy for Indigenous Peoples with particular emphasis on reclaiming the sovereignty of Indigenous women including gender based crimes such as domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. Clan Star’s mission is dedicated to “improving justice to reclaim the sovereignty of Indigenous women.”

The Women's' Rural Advocacy Programs collected an extensive amount of information about domestic violence from a variety of sources: training materials, handouts, pamphlets, articles, etc.. They also have information about domestic violence specifically for Native American women.

The Indian Health Service (IHS), an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has made available a compendium of research entitled "Family Violence and American Indians and Alaska Natives: A Report to the Indian Health Service." The compendium includes current research and articles on family violence in American Indian and Alaska Native communities and articles on domestic violence and sexual abuse.

The Michigan Judicial Institute (MJI) recently announced its "Sexual Assault Benchbook" is available online. MJI creates resources, including benchbooks with the latest information on procedures and the state of the law, and directs training programs for judges and court personnel to enhance their professional skills. The Sexual Assault Benchbook is a comprehensive sourcebook for information on the impact of the crime on victims, Michigan's sexual assault related statutes, including applicable defenses, special courtroom procedures that protect the rights of victims, witnesses, and defendants, scientific evidence, post-conviction and sentencing matters, and bond and discovery.

Mending the Sacred Hoop is a Native American program whose mission is to assist Native Sovereign Nations to improve their response to Indian women who are victimized by domestic violence and sexual assault and to restore safety and integrity to them.

The Justice Department's Office on Violence Against Women provides extensive resources on their site, including up-to-date information on interventions to stop violence against women for Criminal Justice Practitioners, advocates, and social service professionals with the latest in Research and Promising Practices regarding issues of Domestic Violence, Stalking, Batterer Intervention Programs, Child Custody & Protection, Sexual Assault, and Welfare Reform.

Under a grant from the Office on Violence Against Women of the U.S. Department of Justice, the National American Indian Court Judges (NAICJA), in conjunction with a broad based Project Advisory Committee, has collected and analyzed resources concerning the development of Violence Against Indian Women tribal codes. The Project Advisory Committee found that none of the forty existing tribal codes we reviewed met all of the standards established for evaluating Violence Against Indian Women codes. The Project Advisory Committee, however, found that five of the existing tribal codes that were analyzed were good examples since they met many of the established criteria. These five codes are as follows:

To provide concrete guidance to communities, policy leaders, and individuals engaged in activities to end violence against women, the National Advisory Council on Violence Against Women developed the Toolkit to End Violence Against Women. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view this file The recommendations contained in the Toolkit were reviewed by numerous experts in the fields of sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking. Each Toolkit Chapter focuses on a particular audience or environment and includes recommendations for strengthening prevention efforts and improving services and advocacy for victims. Of particular interest is the chapter on Native Women.

Violence Against Women Resources is an extensive site maintained by the University of Minnesota under a grant from the Office on Violence Against Women of the U.S. Department of Justice. This site provides law, criminal justice, advocacy, and social services professionals with up-to-date information on interventions to stop violence against women. It includes documents developed for the Battered Women's Justice Project, VAWnet - the National Electronic Network on Violence Against Women, and the Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse Electronic Clearinghouse (MINCAVA).

The site includes an extensive Document Library containing information about a variety of issues pertaining to violence against women, including:

Indian Health Services provides a comprehensive health services delivery system for American Indians and Alaska Natives with opportunity for maximum tribal involvement in developing and managing programs to meet their health needs. IHS website also contains extensive, online resources on Violence Against Native Women:

The American Judges Association has developed an online handbook for judges handling domestic violence cases entitled Domestic Violence & the Courtroom: Understanding the Problem ... Knowing the Victim. This guidebook covers the following topics:

Domestic and Family Violence

Domestic violence crosses ethnic, racial, age, national origin, sexual orientation, religious and socioeconomic lines.

  • by the most conservative estimate, each year 1 million women suffer nonfatal violence by an intimate.
    (Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report: Violence Against Women: Estimates from the Redesigned Survey (NCJ-154348), August 1995, p. 3.)
  • by other estimates, 4 million American women experience a serious assault by an intimate partner during an average 12-month period.
    (American Psychl. Ass'n, Violence and the Family: Report of the American Psychological Association Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family (1996), p. 10.)
  • 28% of all annual violence against women is perpetrated by intimates.
    (Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report: National Crime Victimization Survey, Violence Against Women (NCJ-145325), January 1994.)
  • 5% of all annual violence against men is perpetrated by intimates.
    (Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report: National Crime Victimization Survey, Violence Against Women (NCJ-145325), January 1994.)
  • domestic violence is statistically consistent across racial and ethnic boundaries.
    (Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report: Violence Against Women: Estimates from the Redesigned Survey (NCJ-154348), August 1995, p. 3.)
  • each year, an estimated 3.3 million children are exposed to violence by family members against their mothers or female caretakers.
    (American Psychl. Ass'n, Violence and the Family: Report of the American Psychological Association Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family (1996), p. 11.)
  • in homes where partner abuse occurs, children are 1,500 times more likely to be abused.
    (Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, Family Violence: Interventions for the Justice System, 1993.)
  • 40-60% of men who abuse women also abuse children.
    (American Psychl. Ass'n, Violence and the Family: Report of the American Psychological Association Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family (1996), p. 80.)
  • 47% of men who beat their wives do so at least 3 times per year.
    (AMA Diagnostic & Treatment Guidelines on Domestic Violence, SEC: 94-677:3M:9/94 (1994).)

 

Summary of Criminal Provisions of the Violence Against Women Act

Interstate Domestic Violence

18 U.S.C. 2261 (a)(1)
Travel or Conduct of Offender. – A person who travels in interstate or foreign commerce or enters or leaves Indian country with the intent to kill, injure, harass, or intimidate a spouse or intimate partner, and who, in the course of or as a result of such travel, commits or attempts to commit a crime of violence against that spouse or intimate partner, is guilty of a Federal crime.

18 U.S.C. 2261 (a)(2)
Causing Travel of Victim – A person who causes a spouse or intimate partner to travel in interstate or foreign commerce or to enter or leave Indian country by force, coercion, duress, or fraud, and who, in the course of, as a result of, or to facilitate such conduct or travel, commits or attempts to commit a crime of violence against that spouse or intimate partner, is guilty of a Federal crime.

Interstate Violation of a Protective Order

18 U.S.C. 2262 (a)(1)
Travel or Conduct of Offender – A person who travels in interstate or foreign commerce, or enters or leaves Indian country, with the intent to engage in conduct that violates the portion of a protection order that prohibits or provides protection against violence, threats, or harassment against, contact or communication with, or physical proximity to, another person, or that would violate such a portion of a protection order in the jurisdiction in which the order was issued, and subsequently engages in such conduct, is guilty of a Federal crime.

18 U.S.C. 2262 (a)(2)
Causing Travel of Victim – A person who causes another person to travel in interstate or foreign commerce or to enter or leave Indian country by force, coercion, duress, or fraud, and in the course of, as a result of, or to facilitate such conduct or travel engages in conduct that violates the portion of a protection order that prohibits or provides protection against violence, threats, or harassment against, contact or communication with, or physical proximity to, another person, or that would violate such a portion of a protection order in the jurisdiction in which the order was issued, is guilty of a Federal crime.

Interstate Stalking

18 U.S.C. 2261A
(1) Whoever travels in interstate or foreign commerce or within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, or enters or leaves Indian country, with the intent to kill, injure, harass, or intimidate another person, and in the course of, or as a result of, such travel places that person in reasonable fear of the death of, or serious bodily injury to, that person, a member of the immediate family of that person, or the spouse or intimate partner of that person, is guilty of a Federal crime.

(2) Whoever who uses the mail or any facility of interstate or foreign commerce to engage in a course of conduct that places a person who is in another State or tribal jurisdiction or within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States in reasonable fear of the death of, or serious bodily injury to, that person, a member of the immediate family of that person, or a spouse or intimate partner of that person, with the intent--

  1. to kill or injure that person; or

  2. to place that person in reasonable fear of the death of, or serious bodily injury to that person, a member of the immediate family of that person, or a spouse or intimate partner of that person, is guilty of a Federal crime.

Possession of a Firearm while Subject to a Protection Order

18 U.S.C. 922 (g)(8)
Under this statute, it is unlawful for anyone subject to a protection order that meets certain statutory requirements to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition or to receive any firearm or ammunition that has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce if the subject was served with notice of the hearing and given a chance to appear.

Possession of a Firearm after Conviction of a Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence

18 U.S.C. 922 (g) (9)
Under this law, it is unlawful for anyone who has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition or to receive any firearm or ammunition that has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.

Felon in Possession of a Firearm

18 U.S.C. 922 (g) (1)
This statute makes it a federal crime for anyone convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition or to receive any firearm or ammunition or to receive any firearm or ammunition that has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.

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