Eric Cantor stomps his feet and VAWA doesn’t get ratified

by Granate Sosnoff on 11th January, 2013



One of the best books I read in 2012 was Louise Erdrich’s powerful, National Book Award-winning novel, The Round House. The central theme is that of a violent rape committed against an Ojibwe woman. What is important to note here is that where the rape occurs is of legal significance as well as who perpetrates the crime, since tribal courts have limited jurisdiction over crimes that occur on reservations by non-Natives.

The book is a complex exploration of the impact violence has on family, community, and of the limitations of legal recourse – all relevant to the issue of violence against women…

I bring this up because the reason why VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) didn’t pass this time around was because:

“At the eleventh hour…majority leader Eric Cantor dug in his heels over the Native American provision, which would have expanded tribal courts’ jurisdiction over domestic violence offenses committed on reservations against Native women by non-Native men.” Excerpted from The Nation article by Erica Eichelberger

Seems to me that a provision for extending tribal law is written in there for a reason. According to US government statistics (via Amnesty International) Native American and Alaska Native women are more than 2.5 times more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted than other women in the U.S.

According to the US Department of Justice, 86% of this violence is perpetrated by non-Natives. Given the history of violence against Native Americans in the US it seems that tribal courts SHOULD have more jurisdiction over crimes committed by non-Natives on reservations.

Please take a few minutes to let him know that you think he is wrong. You can leave him a message at: (202) 225-2815 or write to him at:



No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Follow Granate on Twitter