VAWA Reauthorization 2018

The Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Bill has been introduced today in the House by Representative Sheila Jackson Lee.

Full text of bill available Final–VAWA 2018 copy

Press Release from Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee here

In addition, the National Indigenous Woman’s Resource Center (NIWRC) is leading a social media campaign to promote support for the reauthorization. Below is a sampling of the information from NIWRC.


NIWRC has developed a social media campaign. All of the insta/twitter/posters you need are attached to this email!!! Please post and tag @NIWRC 

Additionally, there are some social media hashtags for today and going forward that you can use from the National movement: #VAWA4ALL and #VAWA2018. If you tag NIWRC, we will retweet/reinstagram/repost! Because this bill includes needed protections for Native women, NIWRC will also be using #TribalVAWA and #VAWA4Natives. 


Sample TWEETS for Introduction of Bill: 

A Braid of Safety for All! Protect Native Survivors…Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act @NIWRC @jacksonleeTX18 #VAWA4ALL #VAWA4Natives #TRIBALVAWA #VAWA18

Native Survivor’s Can’t Wait…Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act @RepHandle  @NIWRC #VAWA4Natives #TRIBALVAWA #VAWA4ALL   

We’re with @JacksonLeeTX18 to pass #VAWA4ALL because native survivors deserve justice! Please co-sponsor @RepHandle 

Violence doesn’t discriminate and neither should our laws! Support #VAWA18 and ensure Native survivors of gender-based violence have access to justice on tribal lands! #VAWA4ALL 

@RepHandle, violence against women happens in our community, too. Reauthorize #VAWA and support prevention and education programs that keep our jurisdiction safe!

The Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act of 2018, introduced by @JacksonLeeTX18 today, includes key enhancements for all survivors of domestic and sexual violence. @HouseDemocrats and @HouseGOP, let’s get this bill across the finish line! #VAWA18 #VAWA4ALL

The Violence Against Women Act has always been bipartisan. @Rephandle can we count on you to co-sponsor @JacksonLeeTX18 ‘Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act of 2018’ for a #VAWA4All survivors? #VAWA18

We’re with @JacksonLeeTX18 to pass #VAWA4ALL because communities need access to sexual assault prevention! @RepHandle, please co-sponsor #VAWA18

We’re with @JacksonLeeTX18 to pass #VAWA4ALL because survivors need housing protections! @RepHandle, please co-sponsor the “Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act of 2018’

Violence doesn’t discriminate and neither should our laws! Support #VAWA18 and ensure incarcerated survivors of gender-based violence have access to trauma-informed care! #VAWA4ALL

Support #VAWA18 and ensure survivors of domestic abuse access to safe housing! #VAWA4ALL

Reducing access to firearms saves women’s lives! Support #VAWA18 and help prevent firearm-involved intimate partner homicides #VAWA4ALL

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End Trafficking of Native Americans Act

Press release here

Full text of the bill End Trafficking of Native Americans Act of 2018

U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), members of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, today introduced the End Trafficking of Native Americans Act of 2018. This bill addresses some of the gaps between tribal communities and the federal government in combatting human trafficking of Native Americans and Alaska Natives. It would establish an advisory committee on human trafficking comprised of law enforcement, tribal leaders, and service providers to make recommendations to the DOI and DOJ on combatting human trafficking of Native Americans and Alaska Natives. The bill also establishes a Human Trafficking Prevention Coordinator within the Bureau of Indian Affairs to coordinate human trafficking prevention efforts across federal agencies.

“As Nevada’s Attorney General, one of my key missions was to stop the trafficking of innocent women and children and hold traffickers accountable, and I am proud to continue that work in the U.S. Senate” said Cortez Masto. “I have seen firsthand how factors including violence and historical trauma put Native Americans and Alaska Natives at an increased risk of trafficking. This bill will help coordinate investigation and prosecution efforts between federal agencies and will strengthen partnerships between the federal government, tribal leaders, law enforcement and victim advocates. I will continue to use all resources available to bring traffickers to justice and support Native American and Alaska Native survivors.”

“Human trafficking is as evil and vile an issue as any other that’s out there. It is a shocking reality that is felt deeply across the state of Alaska, impacting the Alaska Native population in devastating proportion. This legislation will allow for improved national collaboration between various agencies, tribal communities, and local law enforcement to help address human trafficking – with the assurance that an Alaskan will always have a voice at the table,” said Murkowski. “From strengthening our ability to prevent human trafficking to increasing culturally appropriate training and research programs, I am proud to help drive legislation that will help bring an end to trafficking against American Indians and Alaska Natives.”

“The federal government is aware that Native Americans are a population vulnerable to human trafficking, yet there is no comprehensive plan to address it,” said Chairman Chris Spotted Eagle of the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe. “This legislation to bring law enforcement, tribal leaders and service providers together to make recommendations to the Justice Department and the Department of Interior and to establish coordination between those agencies and the Bureau of Indian Affairs is a bridge to that plan.”

“Though we know that anecdotally human trafficking has had a devastating effect on our tribal communities, there seems to be a lack of understanding around how to best address it. This legislation will help to establish a better understanding of this issue as it relates to American Indian and Alaska Native populations in both Indian country and urban settings. We are thrilled that Senator Cortez Masto is placing a high significance on our communities and on our safety. Human trafficking of native men, women and children has for too long gone unaddressed,” said Lucy Simpson, Executive Director, National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center.

The End Trafficking of Native Americans Act is also supported by the Minnesota Indigenous Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition (MIWSAC).

Statement on the First National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls

Statement from the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center,  Link Here

The current reports of abduction and murder of American Indian women and girls are alarming and represent one of the most severe aspects of the spectrum of violence committed against Native women. The murder rate of Native women is more than ten times the national average. Often, these disappearances or murders are connected to crimes of domestic violence, sexual assault, and sex trafficking.

The NIWRC recognizes that before this crisis will be sufficiently addressed it must first be acknowledged. This past year, over 200 tribal, state and national organizations joined with NIWRC and signed on in support of a resolution to create a National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls.  The Montana delegation Senator Steve Daines, Senator Jon Tester, and then Congressman Ryan Zinke introduced the resolution in memory of Hanna Harris, a Northern Cheyenne tribal member, who was murdered in July 2013. The resolution was introduced in April 2016 on the same day that RoyLynn Rides Horse, a Crow tribal member, passed away after having been beaten, burned, and left in a field to die. This past Wednesday, May 3, 2017, the United States took a historic step forward and passed the Senate resolution #60 by unanimous consent.

The NIWRC was honored to have worked with so many sister organizations at the tribal, state and federal levels to see the passage of this historic resolution. Today, May 5th 2017, organized community actions are taking place across tribal nations in honor of missing and murdered Native women and girls. The national office of NIWRC is honored to walk with Melinda Harris, mother of Hanna Harris, Senator Steve Daines, staff of Senator Jon Tester and so many others at a walk organized at Lame Deer, Montana. Tribal actions are being held at the Muscogee Creek Nation, the Mohawk Nation, the Oglala Sioux Indian Nation, the Northern Cheyenne Indian Nation, and many other locations.

We ask all of those concerned about safety and justice for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian women to join together today to honor Native American women and girls who have disappeared and those who have been murdered. Together we can work to bring an end to this crisis endangering not only Indigenous women and girls but Indian nations.

The NIWRC is committed to organizing to increase safety and access to justice for American Indian and Alaska Native women and girls, to bringing awareness to this critical issue, and to preventing future acts of violence in our Nations.


Lucy Simpson
Executive Director, NIWRC

Cherrah Giles
Board Chair, NIWRC

Webinar: Working in Tribal Communities to Protect Victims and Communities from Firearms in DV Cases

May 22, 2017 – 11:00am PT, 12:00pm MT, 1:00pm CT, 2:00pm ET

Tribal communities face a variety of unique obstacles to removing firearms from individuals who are prohibited from having them due to civil protection orders (CPOs) or criminal convictions for domestic violence.  Yet the CPO and criminal processes provide many opportunities for professionals to learn about and respond effectively to abusers’ access to firearms using existing laws.  The NCJFCJ and our partners have gathered examples of strategies from around the country to help Tribal and other communities take full advantage of these intervention opportunities so that they can better protect victims and others from firearms violence. 
NCJFCJ, in partnership with the Office on Violence Against Women, is leading a Firearms Pilot Site Initiative (FPSI) that will provide training and technical assistance on these strategies and practices.  The project is a collaboration with the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC) and other national TA providers (AEquitas, BWJP, CCI, the IACP, and Ujima), as well as expert practitioners from around the country. The FPSI will work with selected sites to assist them in developing interdisciplinary efforts to improve local implementation of firearms prohibitions in civil and criminal domestic violence contexts.
This webinar will discuss challenges and strategies pertinent to Tribal communities that are involved in efforts to effectively implement firearms restrictions in domestic violence cases.  It will also introduce professionals and communities to the FPSI, which soon will be selecting sites for in-depth technical assistance, training, and other support.  The NCJFCJ and its partners will assist selected sites in assessing their implementation efforts and challenges, identifying gaps, and developing partnerships among community stakeholders, including federal partners, to design and implement practices that will enhance victim and community safety.  

Presented by:
Carolina LaPorte, Senior Native Affairs Advisor, National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center
Nancy Hart, JD, Senior Program Attorney, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
Darren Mitchell, JD, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Consultant


Link to register for webinar: here

Closed Captioning will be provided. The webinar will be 60 minutes long and will be recorded and made available to individuals who cannot participate in the live webinar. If you have further questions regarding this event, please contact Alicia Lord at

Ending Violence Against Indigenous Women as a Step Toward Empowerment – Event

Link to the announcement here


Ending Violence Against Indigenous Women as a Step Towards Empowerment


Wednesday, March 15, 2017
10:30 a.m.

Salvation Army
221 E 52nd St.
(Downstairs Room)
New York, NY 10022

Join us to recognize, strengthen, and honor the global movement to end violence against indigenous women.

Indigenous women around the world experience disproportionate levels of violence and murder and multiple, intersecting forms of discrimination because they are indigenous and because they are women. Too often, national justice systems fail to respond to this violence, leaving women without protection or meaningful access to justice. In this event, indigenous women leaders will speak to the situation of violence against indigenous women in the United States and Guatemala.

• Learn about barriers to safety facing American Indian and Alaska Native women in the United States, and their successes in restoring indigenous sovereignty to address violence against women.

• Learn about the grassroots movement to stop the trafficking of indigenous women in the United States.

• Learn about the spectrum of violence facing Mayan women in Guatemala and their strategies of resistance.

Panelists will also discuss strategies for urging states to advance the rights of indigenous peoples and women affirmed in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

For more information, email Jana L. Walker, at

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Congressional Resolution Aimed at Creating Awareness on Missing and Murdered American Indian and Alaska Native Women

Press release available press-release-hill-briefing-2_16_17

From the press release:

“Indigenous women go missing twice—once in real life and a second time in the news” said Amanda Takes War Bonnet, Public Education Specialist of the Native Women’s Society of the Great Plains.  War Bonnet was part of a panel during the Moving Ahead In Addressing Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women and Efforts to Address Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls congressional briefing held Feb. 15, to provided legislators and the public with an overview of this urgent issue.  . . .

To help bring attention to these tragic, often undocumented crimes,  Montana Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester introduced Senate Resolution 60 on Monday, Feb. 13 — a resolution calling for the designation of May 5, 2017 as a “National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls.” Senators James Lankford (OK), Cory Gardner (CO), Al Franken (MN), John Hoeven (ND), and Tom Udall (NM) co-sponsored the resolution. Speaking at the briefing, Sen. Daines noted that May 5th was chosen because it is the birthday of Hanna Harris, a Northern Cheyenne woman who went missing in July 2013 and was found murdered several days later. . . .

Nearly 200 tribal, national, and state organizations have supported the resolution, which calls for designating May 5, 2017 as a day to honor the lives of those missing and murdered and demonstrate solidarity with families that have lost a loved one through violence. Speakers urged participants to contact their Senators and ask them to co-sponsor the resolution.

NIWRC Hiring Native Affairs Senior Advisor for StrongHearts Helpline

Download(PDF): NIWRC-StrongHearts Senior Advisor

The National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, Inc. (NIWRC) is a Native nonprofit organization that was created specifically to serve as the National Indian Resource Center (NIRC) Addressing Domestic Violence and Safety for Indian Women. Under this grant project and in compliance with statutory requirements, the NIWRC will seek to enhance the capacity of American Indian and Alaska Native (Native) tribes, Native Hawaiians, and Tribal and Native Hawaiian organizations to respond to domestic violence.

National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center is Hiring for New Native Helpline

The National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC) in partnership with the National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH), is excited to announce that the StrongHearts Native Helpline, to be staffed by Native advocates, is scheduled to launch on January 4, 2017. The goal of the StrongHearts Native Helpline is to ensure that Native victims of domestic violence can access safety in a culturally relevant manner and eventually live their lives free of abuse.

As a result of an unexpected acceleration of our development timeline, NIWRC has agreed to house StrongHearts in Austin, Texas with the National Domestic Violence Hotline, to allow StrongHearts staff to receive direct support and mentoring from the NDVH. This is important in building a strong base aimed at enhancing services and outreach to tribal communities and Alaska Native villages. New Hires are expected to live in Austin, TX for initial start up time frame, then relocate to permanent Helpline office in Tulsa, OK. 

Available on our website are the current vacancies as well as attached to this email are the job announcements and NIWRC job application forms. Please feel free to forward these on!

NIWRC’s positions available are:

Strong Hearts Advocate

Strong Hearts Assistant Director

Strong Hearts Communications Manager

Strong Hearts Data Specialist

Strong Hearts IT Coordinator

*Please review individual job announcements for details. To submit your application electronically you must first DOWNLOAD THE PDF.

Please contact Tang Cheam if you have any questions at

Indigenous Women’s Movements to End Violence Against American Indian, Alaska Native, and Aboriginal Women

The Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center, Indian Law Resource Center, National Congress of American Indians, National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, and Native Women’s Association of Canada are co-sponsoring an event to  be held during the NGO-Forum of the Commission on the Status of Women’s 60th Session.

The event  will take place on Tuesday, March 22nd at 4:30 p.m., at the United Nations Church Center Chapel.

More information can be found here.