Amnesty International Urges Senate Committee to Pass the SAVE Native Women Act

Press Release
December 7, 2011

Amnesty International Urges Senate Committee to Pass the SAVE Native Women Act

Contact: AIUSA media relations, 202-509-8194

(Washington, DC) – Amnesty International announced today its support for S. 1763, the Stand Against Violence and Empower Native Women (SAVE Native Women) Act. The SAVE Native Women Act was recently introduced on the Senate floor by Senator Daniel Akaka, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. In advance of the Committee’s markup this Thursday, Amnesty International strongly urges the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs to unanimously pass S. 1763 and help to end violence against Native women in the United States.

According to a report by the Department of Justice, two-in-five women in Native communities will suffer domestic violence and one-in-three Native women will be raped in their lifetime. Four out of five perpetrators of these crimes are non-Indian, and currently cannot be prosecuted by tribal governments. In conjunction with the maze of jurisdictional challenges that Indian Country faces, this often results in an environment of impunity where perpetrators are not held accountable for their crimes and women are left without access to justice. The SAVE Native Women Act is a crucial first step in restoring tribal governments with jurisdiction in Indian Country and the authority to prosecute non-Indians who commit crimes on Indian lands.

If enacted, the bill would also clarify tribal civil jurisdiction to issue and enforce protection orders, strengthen tribal coalition programs, and improve the response to sex trafficking of Native women.

"The levels of violence against Native women have reached epidemic proportions. The SAVE Native Women Act will continue critical efforts to begin restoring to tribal governments the authority to protect women in their own communities from violent crime and hold perpetrators accountable. Amnesty International applauds Chairman Daniel Akaka for his leadership and commitment and urges Congress to prioritize passage of S. 1763 immediately," said Curt Goering, chief operating officer of Amnesty International USA.

Make a difference in Native women’s lives by asking your Senators to co-sponsor the SAVE Native Women Act.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom and dignity are denied.

 

# # #

 

For more information, please visit: www.amnestyusa.org.