Each week the AIT community receives #TakeActionTuesday with tips for creating impactful change in their community and beyond. From new online tools, to pending policy updates, subscribe today to make sure you don’t miss these action-oriented recommendations.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. However, during this time of awareness-raising, the experiences and unique needs of Native American women are too often overlooked despite the fact that over 50% of Native American women will experience sexual assault in their lifetimes.
The 2019 Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which passed in the House of Representatives on April 4, takes several steps towards closing loopholes in the law that make it difficult for Indigenous women to report and prosecute their abusers. This proposed version of VAWA includes a special criminal prosecution program for several Alaska Native tribes, and protections for Native American children who are victims of domestic violence, as well as Indigenous victims of stalking, sex trafficking, and sexual violence.
The day before VAWA passed in the House, Senators Lisa Murkowski, Catherine Cortez Masto, and Jon Tester introduced the bipartisan Not Invisible Act of 2019, which establishes an advisory committee to help address the alarmingly higher rates of trafficking, murder, and disappearance of Native American women. Like VAWA, the Act also calls for increased coordination between tribal and non-tribal law enforcement agencies.
This #TakeActionTuesday, take action to support the needs of Indigenous survivors of gender-based violence.
- Get Informed. Spend some time learning about the unique needs and experiences of Indigenous women, and how those translate into various policy agendas. The National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center and the Indian Law Resource Center are a great place to start.
- Contact Your Legislators. Reach out to your senators and express your views on the 2019 Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and the Not Invisible Act of 2019.
- Take Local Action. Find out which organizations are serving indigenous survivors in your community, and consider how you can support their local or statewide efforts.
How are you working to support the needs of Indigenous women? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org!