so w/ all this argument and debate over whether halloween is slutty or for teh littlest babies, and not forgetting to squish your boobs, i forgot something that has been going on for two decades this october.
october is also violence against women awareness month.
and i totally forgot.
and that makes me a little more than ashamed of myself, especially given my upbringing.
see, native american women, especially those living on reservations, are almost twice as likely to be abused than any other race or ethnicity.
i was glad to see that the office on violence against women have a whole branch devoted to tribal affairs.
it’s a start.
part of the painful truth is that noone seemed for a long time sure who was supposed to take care of this problem. reservations are sovereign nations, over 500 of them nationally recognized, w/ their own governments and law enforcement and language. fine when the victims and assailants are both native…unless of course the local police don’t feel like following up on a report, or they use their cell phones to call, and the abuser answers, stating everything is ok.
and then, if the assailant isn’t native? or the victim? whose jurisdiction is this? tribal laws don’t cover non tribal persons. but, local, non tribal authorities have no jurisdiction over tribal land…so if the dispute happens on a res, who is responsible?
usually, noone steps in.
there are steps being taken to fix this. in 2004 a bill was presented to give tribal authorities jurisdiction over non indian attackers on tribal land. full faith and credit, you see. but then there was the little issue of indian tribes setting up statutes to extend full faith and credit to foreign protection orders.
all any of this means is that w/ all the hype over anything else that happens in october, something this huge should not be overlooked. shame on me for forgetting.