The 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act included badly needed Tribal provisions - a great step forward - but if you take a closer look, things seem a bit off.
Take a look yourself here: https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/tribal/legacy/2014/02/06/vawa-2013-tribal-jurisdiction-overnon-indian-perpetrators-domesticviolence.pdf
What crimes will be covered?
-Dating Violence; and
-Criminal violations of protection orders.
Sounds great, right? Exactly what we’ve been needing, right?
Not so much. If you take a closer look you’ll notice there are still many holes.
What Crimes Will Not Be Covered?
The following crimes will generally not be covered.
-Crimes committed outside of Indian country;
-Crimes between two non-Indians;
-Crimes between two strangers, including sexual assaults;
-Crimes committed by a person who lacks sufficient ties to the tribe, such as living or working on its reservation; and
-Child abuse or elder abuse that does not involve the violation of a protection order.
See what I mean?
Tribal jurisdiction over crimes of domestic violence isn’t all it’s (often) been made out to be.
To be clear, the current tribal provisions in VAWA mean crimes of domestic violence (including sexual assault) are only covered if said crime meets the following criteria:
The 2013 VAWA Tribal provisions are a step forward, but leaves much ground to be covered.