By Ricki Walters, Regional Diversity Trainer/Investigator Ricki_Walters

Women have made many strides with regard to their civil rights. However, some of the laws granting women’s rights have been under review this past year so it’s important for us to be vigilant and participatory with regard to what our legislature is doing.

In 1994, Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). This act created changes to the law that reformed how domestic violence was dealt with by law enforcement. It elevated domestic violence from being viewed in our society as a private family matter to being viewed as a serious crime.

VAWA was due for action in the House this week (February 27, 2013). The reauthorization of this bill would be a first step in addressing the often-overlooked problem of violence against women on tribal reservations where it can be difficult to prosecute.

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