Sexual violence against Native American and Alaska Native women is at epidemic proportions. Native American and Alaska Native women are more than two and a half times more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted than women in the United States in general. More than one in three Native American and Alaska Native women will be raped in their lifetime and, according to Department of Justice statistics, 86 per cent of perpetrators of sexual assault and rape against Native women are non-Native men. Because of a confusing maze of federal, state and tribal jurisdictions, perpetrators of these crimes are frequently not brought to justice.
The Tribal Law and Order Act is a historic effort to tackle major jurisdictional challenges that allow crimes against Native American and Alaska Native peoples to go unpunished and unabated. The Senate recently and unanimously passed the legislation by including the bill as an amendment to H.R. 725, the Indian Arts and Crafts Amendment Act of 2010. Now we need to ensure that the House does the same!