One in three Native American women has been raped or has experienced an attempted rape. Federal officials also failed to prosecute 75% of the alleged sex crimes against women and children living under tribal authority. The Senate bill to reauthorize the 1994 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) could provide appropriate recourse for Native American women who are victims of sexual assault. This bill (S. 1925), introduced in 2011, would grant tribal courts the ability to prosecute non-Indians who have sexually assaulted their Native American spouses and domestic partners. Congress has quickly reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act twice before. But members of the House of Representatives now oppose a provision in S. 1925 that allows tribal courts to prosecute non-Native American criminal defendants, indicating that the battle to pass the bill will be prolonged.

Citation Note

This Comment was originally cited as Volume 2 of the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Online. Volumes 1, 2, and 3 of MJLR Online have been renumbered 45, 46, and 47 respectively. These updated Volume numbers correspond to their companion print Volumes. Additionally, the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Online was renamed Caveat in 2015.