National Congress of American Indians statement on House passage of H.R. 1585, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019
National Congress of American Indians
Today, the United States House of Representatives voted 263 to 158 to pass the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019 (H.R. 1585), marking an important step toward restoring public safety and justice on tribal lands. Of the most notable aspects of H.R. 1585 is its recognition that Native children are equally in need of the protections that were extended to adult domestic violence victims in Violence Against Women Act 2013.
Juana Majel-Dixon, Co-Chair for the Task Force on Violence Against Women and Recording Secretary at National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) responded to the favorable outcome at a press conference held immediately after the vote stating, "As tribal leaders, we have no greater priority than protecting our women, children, and elders. Too often, we as Native women are invisible but today, we celebrate and thank the representatives here for seeing us, for standing with us, and for fighting with us." She also urged the Senate to move quickly to take up this legislation, saying "Victims in Indian Country cannot wait. We will not accept a bill that leaves Native victims behind. They are counting on us."
As National Congress of American Indians noted in its written testimony to the House Judiciary Committee, four out of five Native women will experience violence in their lifetime and over 90 percent of victims report being victimized by a non-Indian. National Congress of American Indians' written testimony also informed the Subcommittee of the adoption of resolution ECWS-19-005 which sets forth five priorities for reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act in 2019. The five priorities identified by the National Congress of American Indians are all addressed in H.R. 1585.
About the National Congress of American Indians
Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country.
The National Congress of American Indians advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights.
For more information visit www.ncai.org.