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Quaker Lobby Urges Lawmakers to Reauthorize Violence Against Women Act

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The Quaker lobby, Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)
called on Congress to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act of 1994
(H.R. 6545). Led by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), the bill seeks to
expand protections to women victims of violence.

"The Violence Against Women Act is particularly significant to Native
women and girls across the nation," said Diane Randall, Executive
Secretary for the Friends Committee on National Legislation. "We welcome
this initiative and urge the House to swiftly pass H.R. 6545."

Native women experience violent crimes at disproportionately higher
rates than other women in the United States. While the federal
government has jurisdiction in Indian Country, it lacks the resources to
effectively prosecute crimes. Non-Native offenders regularly avoid
prosecution for sexual assault and domestic violence.

With over 100 cosponsors among House Democrats, the bill will improve
tribal access to federal crime information and standardize protocols for
responding to cases of missing and murdered Native peoples. The current
bill expires on Sept. 30, 2018.

The bill also extends tribal jurisdiction to include sexual violence,
sex trafficking, stalking, child violence and violence against tribal
law enforcement attempting to execute these provisions.

"If passed, the bill will be a huge win for Indian country, as more than
half of American Indian and Alaska Native women experience sexual
violence in their lifetime," said Lacina Tangnaqudo Onco
(Shinnecock/Kiowa), FCNL's Advocate for Native American Policy. "Safety
from violent crimes should not be a privilege but for too long, many
Native women have gone unprotected by the law."

In addition to advocating for the Violence Against Women Act, FCNL has
also been a strong advocate for a bill to address the crisis of missing
and murdered Native women. If passed, Savanna's Act (S.1942/H.R.4485)
will create a standard protocol for law enforcement and expands tribal
access to criminal databases.

FCNL has also been a strong advocate for the SURVIVE Act
(S.1870/H.R.4443) which authorizes a permanent five percent tribal
set-aside in the Crime Victims Fund.

For more information, please visit www.fcnl.org.

Founded in 1943 by members of the Religious Society of Friends
(Quakers), FCNL lobbies Congress and the administration for U.S.
policies that advance peace, justice, and good government.

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