The amendment to the Violence Against Women Act, proposed by Rep. Don Young and passed through the U.S. House, is the kind of creative policy Alaska needs, especially with the high rates of violence against indigenous women. Giving these five tribal governments special criminal jurisdiction will be valuable for those villages in rural areas where there is little to no law enforcement. This allows tribal communities to take action when there is a crime committed under VAWA, including sexual assault and rape.
This is important because more than half of sexual assault victims in Alaska are Alaska Natives, even though they only make up 20% of the population. Additionally, in 2016, Alaska had the highest rate of female homicides by men, with 60% of the victims being Alaska Native women. This amendment is a step in reducing the crisis-level rates of violence against Alaska Native women.
— Amanda Capitummino
Sitkans Against Family Violence
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