Today, Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN), the Democratic Co-Chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus, introduced the bipartisan Stand Against Violence and Empower (SAVE) Native Women Act (H.R. 757). H.R. 757 empowers tribal governments to effectively respond to and prosecute domestic violence committed by non-Indians on tribal reservations. The bill also provides resources to help reduce the incidence of violent crimes against Native American women and support survivors of abuse.
"Native American women are victims of domestic assault and abuse on reservation lands by non-Indian men," said Congresswoman McCollum. "Nearly three out of every five Native American women have been assaulted by their partners. Until tribal nations have the authority and the necessary resources to combat this epidemic of violence, our sisters in Indian Country will continue to suffer the highest rates of violent abuse, rape, and stalking in the nation. The bipartisan SAVE Native Women Act brings together the best solutions from tribal leaders, Indian law experts, and the Department of Justice."
The SAVE Native Women Act would give tribal courts special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction; enhance collaboration among the U.S. Attorney General, Secretary of Health & Human Services, Secretary of the Interior, and tribal governments; provide federal grants so that tribal communities may prevent violent crimes, assist victims of abuse, and improve tribal justice systems; and mandate further research on violence committed against Native women.
In the 112th Congress, the SAVE Native Women Act was sponsored by former Congressman Dan Boren (D-OK), and had 20 bipartisan cosponsors.