Unconstitutional, huh? Allows abusers to walk away free, you say? Yeah except the newest version of the VAWA is designed to protect Native American women from being abused and raped by white men on their own reservations:Republican Rep. Kristi Noem said Thursday she voted against the expansion of the Violence Against Women Act renewed by the House because she thinks efforts should focus on expediting the process for victims to confront their accusers and get justice “not muddy the waters with constitutionally questionable provisions that will likely only delay justice.”
“Additional legal measures only seek to cause additional delays for victims who have already been through too much,” Noem told reporters in a conference call. “If found to be unconstitutional, as some have said, justice could be delayed or worse, abusers could walk free.”
The House vote was 286-138, with 87 Republicans joining 199 Democrats to pass the bill. - Argus Leader, 2/28/13
At 26, Diane Millich fell in love with and married a white man, moving with him in 1998 to a home on her native Southern Ute reservation in southern Colorado where, in short order, her life was consumed by domestic violence.This loophole allows Native American women to become victims of physical and sexual abuse and allows the abusers to walk away free:
Her story of beatings and threats, reconciliations and divorce — painfully common among Native American women — had a twist. Because her husband was white, the Southern Ute Tribal Police could not touch him, and because she was a Native American on tribal land, La Plata County sheriff’s deputies were powerless as well. She said she tried going to federal law enforcement, which did have jurisdiction, but that went nowhere.
After one of his beatings, she said, he even called the county sheriff himself to prove to her that he could not be stopped. Only after he stormed her office at the federal Bureau of Land Management and opened fire, wounding a co-worker, was he arrested. And even then, law enforcement had to use a tape measure to sort out jurisdiction, gauging the distance between the barrel of the gun and the point of bullet impact to persuade the local police to intervene.
Obscure as it might be, the issue of tribal court powers and Ms. Millich’s jurisdictional black hole has become the last remaining controversy holding up Congress’s broad reauthorization of the landmark Violence Against Women Act. The Senate on Monday is expected to approve the 218-page bill with broad, bipartisan support. - New York Times, 2/10/13
“They don’t report because they don’t believe that anything will happen, that it doesn’t matter to anyone particularly in the justice system that they’ve been violated,” said Dorma Sahneyah, a program specialist at the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center who works with tribes around the Southwest. “It’s very different to get them to believe again that it’s going to be worth the effort.” She has heard often of non-Native men taking advantage of the impunity they’ve been indirectly allowed: “If you’re doing something and you know you won’t be held accountable, you’re going to keep doing it.”Noem's colleague in the Senate, Senator John Thune (R. SD), also voted against the reauthorization of the VAWA. 2014 is going to be a crucial year where not only are women's safety and rights are going to be big issues again but also Native American issues are going to be at stake in South Dakota. Especially with this clown running for Senate:
“We know these rape cases are hard to prosecute anyway, much less getting defendants to the federal courts, which are often hundreds of miles away from tribal areas,” says Deborah Parker, vice chairwoman of the Tulalip Tribes in Washington state and herself a survivor of and witness to sexual abuse. “Those living on the reservation and have domestic partners know that there’s a jurisdictional issue. They know that the law essentially doesn’t apply to them. They walk away without any repercussions.” - Salon, 12/13/12
Here's the story meralda is referring to:For me, his delay in seeking a disaster declaration for aiding the SD reservations devasted by ice-storms and blizzards in Dec. 2009 and Jan. 2010, were especially hard to accept. After filing the request in March 2010, the Presidential declaration followed and aid was given. But the delay was tragic. - meralda's diary, 2014 Senate race - SD, 11/29/12
Why would Rounds delay federal disaster relief for South Dakota's Native Americans?Unfortunately, there was a delayed response in the Governors office submitting the disaster declaration, for the Christmas blizzard that immobilized the entire state of South Dakota for several days. FEMA was in the field across South Dakota assessing damages, when the January ice storm and blizzard hit causing a crisis in many areas and devastating Cheyenne River Reservation. - NDN News, 3/10/10
To my Kossacks in South Dakota, especially from the Pine Ridge Reservation, please be ready to come out and vote in 2014. Not only should Mike Rounds (R. SD) be defeated but Krist Noem should also be a top target for the Democrats in 2014. Even in red rural states like South Dakota, Tea Party loons like Noem should be punished for their cruel and insane voting records.Money.
That's what this is about: The state of South Dakota, under the auspices of the Rounds administration, does not want to spend any extra state money to get federal disaster assistance for the reservations.
And now that private aid is pouring in, thanks in large part to the efforts of Kossacks over the last two weeks, the governor's office has the perfect excuse not to move forward with the federal disaster process. Inadvertently, we may just have given him exactly what he wanted: Time to wait out the weather and public sentiment. (Not that we had a choice in the matter; lives were at risk. But the fact that some folks are now in a better position thanks to private efforts should in no way excuse the state of South Dakota from its obligations to its citizens.) - Aji's diary, Why is S.D. Gov. Mike Rounds Denying Federal Aid to Indian Reservations in Crisis?, 2/16/10