Native American tribes may finally begin prosecuting sex assaults under the federal Violence Against Women Act, closing a legal loophole that allowed outsiders to get away with raping women on reservations.
The legislation, which was reauthorized in 2013, gave tribal courts jurisdiction to investigation and prosecute felony domestic violence cases involving Native American and non-Native suspects, but the tribes face challenges in implementing the law.
The federal law requires tribes to have courts with properly trained judges and attorneys, and that could prove too expensive for some tribes.
“There is no item bigger than taking care of women and children,” said Peter Yucupicio, chairman of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Tucson, Ariz.
He took part in a conference last week to help tribal leaders from Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota to learn what steps they must take to begin prosecuting domestic violence cases.
An estimated one-third of Native American women are victims of rape, and U.S. Department of Justice statistics show that a staggering 86 percent of those attacks are committed by non-Native men.
“What’s happened through U.S. federal law and policy is they created lands of impunity where this is like a playground for serial rapists, batterers, killers – whoever, and our children aren’t protected at all,” said Lisa Brunner, executive director of Sacred Spirits First National Coalition.
She told Sky News her own daughters were raped and abused by a non-Native family friend, and another daughter was attacked two years ago by masked outsiders who came to the reservation to “hunt” Native women.
None of those attackers have been prosecuted, Brunner said.
“It’s like a free range,” Brunner said. “Come and do what you want, and they do come here hunting. I call it hunting because we’re not the targets — we’re the bulls-eye.”
Trump ‘will not leave his office if he narrowly loses in 2020’: Conservative columnist issues dire warning
President Donald Trump will fight to remain in power regardless of the outcome if the 2020 election is close, a conservative columnist warned on Saturday.
Andrew Sullivan blasted Trump in New York magazine, honing in on the commander-in-chief's lying.
"For Trump, lying is central to his disturbed psyche, and to his success. The brazenness of it unbalances and stupefies sane and adjusted people, thereby constantly giving him an edge and a little breathing space while we try to absorb it, during which he proceeds to the next lie," he wrote.
‘Veto the Cheato’: Americans gathered nationwide for #ImpeachTrump rallies
Frustrated Americans on Saturday attended #ImpeachTrump rallies from coast-to-coast.
The rallies were organized by MoveOn, Indivisible, Democracy for America, the Women's March, Credo and other progressive organizations.
Over 140 events were held nationwide.
[caption id="attachment_1513038" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Map of #ImpeachTrump rallies in the contiguous United States.[/caption]
Many attendees took the time to create hand-made protest signs, while others held printed banners.
‘Weakness doesn’t win elections’: Indivisible co-founder explains why members are holding #ImpeachTrump rallies
The growing support to commence impeachment proceedings by House Democrats is driven by their need to fire up grassroots support to hold control of the chamber, an Indivisible co-founder explained on MSNBC.
"The call for impeachment continues. this as protesters are hitting the street in more than 140 rallies planned across the country. Organizers say the "Impeach Trump" event is a day of action urging House Democrats to start impeachment proceedings," MSNBC's Richard Lui reported Saturday.
"A new survey from the indivisible project finds 80 percent of their respondents say the House should start impeachment proceedings," he noted. "Right now in the House, 63 Democrats and one Republican support impeachment."