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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 22, 2013 at 4:01 PM

Protecting Native American women from non-Indian abusers

Support the inclusion of Native women

Native American Women attended a healing circle last week where women came together to discuss the violence against women and to promote passage in Congress of the Violence Against Women Act. Roxanne Chinook and Debrorah Parker, in hat, vice chairwoman of the Tulalip Tribes, hug after Chinook tells her story of survival. MIKE SIEGEL/THE SEATTLE TIMES

I hope people will all notify their representatives to support the entire Violence Against Women Act [“Law would let tribes prosecute non-Indians’ domestic violence,” page one, Feb. 20]. Trying to remove a paragraph that helps protect women on reservations is criminal.

Criminals are not returned to their countries of origin for prosecution. Women who happen to live in tribal reservations have a right to swift justice. This right has been ignored for too long. Just consider this swift justice in courts closest to the action.

Presiding judges and legal representation are on a par with courts outside the reservations. Allowing these batterers to go free from the failure of the current system gives them the ability to continue their violence on more and more victims.

This is one way to curb the cycle of violence in our society, including tribal members.

The VAWA stops violence against women and children,is faster and more efficient than the current method and is less costly in money and human suffering.

Come on, legislators. Let’s do something for all the right reasons for a change.

–Paula D. Deter, Camano Island

Comments | More in Washington Legislature | Topics: domestic violence, Native Americans, Tribal communities

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