Violence Against Indian Women
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a landmark piece of legislation that sought to improve criminal justice and community-based responses to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking in the United States. The passage of VAWA in 1994 and its reauthorization in 2000 has changed the landscape for victims who once suffered in silence. Victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking have been able to access services, and a new generation of families and justice system professionals have come to understand that domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking are crimes that our society will not tolerate.
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.
Tribal Domestic Violence Case Law: Annotations for Selected Tribal Cases Related to Domestic Violence 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.
Tribal Sexual Assault and Stalking Resource Series
Tribal Legal Code Resource: Sexual Violence and Stalking Laws was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in conjunction with the Southwest Center for Law and Policy to be a guide for drafting or revising victim-centered tribal criminal laws on sexual assault and stalking. It is written with a philosophy that tribal laws should reflect tribal values. In addition, writing a tribal law usually requires careful consideration of how state and/or federal laws might apply in the community. This resource guide includes sample language and discussion questions which are designed to help tribal community members decide on the best laws for their community. This resource was revised and updated May 2012, including changes addressing the 2010 enactment of the Tribal Law and Order Act.
Law Enforcement Protocol Guide: Sexual Assault (Including a Model Sexual Assault Protocol) was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in conjunction with Southwest Center for Law and Policy as a tool for improving the investigation of sexual assault crimes. Effective investigations increase the likelihood of victim participation and increase the probability of convictions in tribal, state, and/or federal courts. This guide focuses on the development of an internal protocol for law enforcement. A law enforcement protocol can enhance the efforts of all community agencies in addressing sexual violence. Once your tribal government has strong laws in place, this publication will help you create policies and protocols for your law enforcement agency to enforce your laws.
Prosecutor Protocol Guide: Sexual Assault (Including a Model Sexual Assault Protocol) was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in conjunction with Southwest Center for Law and Policy as a tool for improving the prosecution of sexual assault crimes. Holding offenders accountable for their actions is a key part of making your community safe. This publication is designed to help your prosecutor’s office ensure consistency and compassion for all survivors. This guide focuses on the development of an internal protocol for tribal prosecution. A prosecutor protocol can enhance the efforts of all community agencies in addressing sexual violence.
Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) Resource was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in conjunction with Southwest Center for Law and Policy as a guide to creating cohesive policies between tribal agencies. Victims of sexual assault deserve a coordinated, comprehensive response from a variety of community agencies. This SART resource provides a starting point for developing victim-centered SART teams in your community.
Final Report: Focus Group on Public Law 280 and the Sexual Assault of Native Women On August 15 - 16, 2007 the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) hosted a focus group in Green Bay, Wisconsin to discuss challenges to, and opportunities for, collaboration between states and tribes in Public Law 280 jurisdictions to address sexual assault in Indian country. The Tribal Law and Policy Institute provided technical assistance and collaborated with OVW on the design and delivery of the session. This final report details the event.
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.
Victim Services: Promising Practices in Indian Country (2004) is an OVC monograph produced by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute that describes promising practices for assisting victims of violence and abuse in twelve Indian Country locations throughout the United States. Each description includes the program’s keys to success, relevant demographic data, and a contact for further information.
The Office on Violence Against Women in the U.S. Department of Justice has several grant programs for which tribal governments are eligible. More information about each Grant Program is available by clicking on the name of the grant program. Generally, these grant programs become available each fiscal year, depending on Congressional appropriations.
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 STOP Violence Against Indian Women Discretionary Grant Program is intended to reduce violent crimes against Indian women by providing grants to Indian tribal governments to develop and strengthen the tribal justice system's response (including law enforcement, prosecution, victim services, and courts) to violence against Indian women and to improve services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
The Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies and Enforcement of Protection Orders Program encourages jurisdictions to treat domestic violence as a serious violation of criminal law. The Arrest Program also promotes mandatory or pro-arrest policies as an effective domestic violence intervention that is part of a coordinated community response. Arrest should be one element in a comprehensive criminal justice system response to hold offenders accountable and enhance victim safety.
Recognizing that victims of domestic violence and children living in rural America are faced with unique barriers to receiving assistance, Congress created the Rural Domestic Violence and Child Victimization Enforcement Grant Program. The Rural Program implements certain provisions of the Violence Against Women Act, passed by Congress in 1994 and reauthorized in the Violence Against Women Act of 2000.
The Legal Assistance for Victims Grant Program is designed to strengthen legal assistance for victims of sexual assault, stalking, and domestic violence through innovative, collaborative programs. These programs provide victims with representation and legal advocacy in family, immigration, administrative agency, or housing matters, protection or stay-away order proceedings, and other similar matters. The Legal Assistance Program is intended to increase the availability of legal assistance in order to provide effective aid to victims who are seeking relief in legal matters arising as a consequence of abuse or violence.
The Training Grants to Stop Abuse and Sexual Assault Against Older Individuals or Individuals with Disabilities Program was created in the Violence Against Women Act of 2000 (VAWA 2000) to address the obstacles encountered by victims of crimes who are older individuals or persons with disabilities. Administered by the Office on Violence Against Women (the Office) of the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), this grant program provides a unique opportunity for targeted training for law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and court officers to enhance their ability to recognize, address, investigate, and prosecute instances of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation and violence against individuals with disabilities, including domestic violence and sexual assault against older or disabled individuals. In the Violence Against Women Act of 2000 (VAWA 2000), Congress authorized the creation of the Education and Training Grants to End Violence Against and Abuse of Women with Disabilities Program to provide education and technical assistance for the purpose of providing training, consultation, and information on domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault against women who are individuals with disabilities. This grant program provides a unique opportunity for disability rights advocacy and services organizations and victim advocacy and services organizations to work in partnership to create a coordinated community response to crimes of violence against women with disabilities. It also provides existing domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault programs with a unique opportunity to develop long- and short-term strategic plans for addressing the needs of women with disabilities and for fully complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Grant programs open to tribal-affiliated entities
The Grants to Reduce Violent Crimes Against Women on Campus Program is designed to encourage institutions of higher education to adopt comprehensive, coordinated responses to violent crimes against women on campuses, including sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence, and dating violence. Working in partnership with community-based nonprofit victim advocacy organizations and local criminal justice or civil legal agencies, campuses must adopt protocols and policies that treat violence against women as a serious offense and develop victim services and programs in which victim safety, offender accountability, and the prevention of such crimes are central.
Congress appropriated resources in the Violence Against Women Act of 2000 for the development and operation of Tribal Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalitions in Indian country. The goal of this program is to build the capacity of survivors and advocates to form tribal domestic violence and sexual assault coalitions that advance the goal of ending violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women.
Training and Technical Assistance
The Office on Violence Against Women funds a number of different organizations to provide training and technical assistance to tribal grantees receiving funding through the various grant programs:
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 mission of the Mending the Sacred Hoop Technical Assistance Project is to assist Native Sovereign Nations to improve their response to Indian women who are victimized by domestic violence and sexual assault and restore safety and integrity to them. To achieve that mission, MSH-TA has identified Training, Technical Assistance, and Resource Development as the main areas of focus. READ MORE >>>
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:
The Tribal Law and Policy Institute is a Native American owned and operated non-profit corporation organized to design and deliver education, research, training, and technical assistance programs which promote the enhancement of justice in Indian country and the health, well-being, and culture of Native peoples.
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