Violence Against Women Act needs to protect Native women better

Native women. Indians. Violence against native women

Rebecca Nagle is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.  At High Country News she writes—What the Violence Against Women Act could do — and one major flaw:

The 24-year-old Violence Against Women Act, or VAWA — the largest policy measure addressing sexual assault and domestic violence — comes up for reauthorization every five years. On Dec. 3, Congress passed a resolution extending the landmark legislation for two more weeks, and now the current deadline is Dec. 21. Since its 2013 reauthorization, the law has also included important provisions to address the epidemic of violence against Native women.


If VAWA lapses, it will not change any statutes in the existing law or even necessarily cut funding. During the last reauthorization fight, for example, VAWA expired for 500 days, and yet program funding continued. But whether or not the bill is reauthorized, it still must go through the appropriations process, in which Congress allocates the necessary money.

“Rather than allow the fear of unauthorization drive efforts surrounding VAWA, Indian Country should focus its attention on meaningful enhancements,” says Caroline LaPorte, a descendant of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians and senior Native Affairs policy advisor at the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center. “Specifically, provisions needed to address the jurisdictional gaps that continue to leave Native women vulnerable to extremely high rates of violence.”

As it stands, almost every Native woman will experience violence: Eight in 10 will be raped, stalked or abused in the course of a lifetime, and a shocking one out of three is raped, stalked or abused every year. Prosecuting these crimes is difficult; 97 percent of crimes against Native victims are committed by non-Natives, and due to a complex web of federal laws and statutes, tribes have long been unable to prosecute non-Native perpetrators who commit their crimes on tribal land. […]



“We Americans are not usually thought to be a submissive people, but of course we are. Why else would we allow our country to be destroyed? Why else would we be rewarding its destroyers? Why else would we all — by proxies we have given to greedy corporations and corrupt politicians — be participating in its destruction? Most of us are still too sane to piss in our own cistern, but we allow others to do so and we reward them for it. We reward them so well, in fact, that those who piss in our cistern are wealthier than the rest of us. How do we submit? By not being radical enough. Or by not being thorough enough, which is the same thing.” 
               ~~Wendell Berry, Grist (2004)



On this date at Daily Kos in 2008Our Broken Health System: It’s Not Just About Insurance:

As part of a comprehensive reform plan, we’re going to have to figure out a way to get and keep more doctors in primary care. Insuring the un- and under-insured is absolutely critical, but providing insurance doesn’t do you a helluva lot of good for people who don’t have any doctor to accept it.  

Among the issues that must be addressed are 1) the huge costs of medical education; 2) the significant pay differential between primary and specialty care; and 3) reduction in overhead costs for family practitioners, meaning a reduction in bureaucracy and paperwork. Consider this, from the Statesman story about Roser:

At the University of Washington medical school, which has a special program to take in some Idaho students, 87 percent of graduates are in debt. The median debt was $105,202 in 2006, according to a study published by the university.

Being a specialist helps pay off that debt the fastest. A new primary care doctor initially earns about $130,000 to $150,000 a year, compared with $250,000 to $500,000 a year for newly minted specialists, Patmas said.

Getting the insurance companies to the negotiating table is going to be challenging enough. Getting the AMA and the nation’s medical schools to agree to take a hard look at both compensation and at pushing a course of study in primary care is going to another big ol’ ball of wax, but one that has to be dealt with to fix this system.

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Greg Dworkin & Armando join us in a tour of today’s topics: Trump‘s wall flop; Chief of Staff Newt; National Enquirer ready to blab; NY’s new AG is on the case; Pelosi locks it down; Muller’s phase two; just go ahead and indict, already; Inhofe steps in it. 

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