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Subjects

Department of Justice, reauthorization, colonialism, patriarchy, gender roles

Abstract

Violence against Native American Women is an epidemic in the United States. According to the Department of Justice, Native women experience sexual violence more than any other ethnic group (Department of Justice, 2013). Research by Juana Majel-Dixon 1st Vice President of the National Congress of American Indians suggests that one out of three Native women will be raped in their lifetime, and six in ten will be physically assaulted (Majel-Dixon, 2012). More importantly, emerging research by Jana Walker, Senior Attorney and Director of the Indian Law Resource Center also reveals that the majority of their attackers are non-Natives and most of these cases are never prosecuted (Indian Law Resource Center, 2010).

Despite the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 which was an attempt to shift inherent power to exercise criminal jurisdiction in special domestic violence situations to Native nations, very little has been done to end the perpetual cycles of violence and more specifically, reducing the treat from non-Natives.

In this analysis, I argue that U.S. law has not effectively addressed these forms of violence against Native women and only masks legacies of trauma which fails to address violence occurring at the intersections of race and gender due to its grounding settler colonial mentalities and Eurocentric-patriarchal attitudes. These drastically changed Native women’s gender roles and sealed their fate with historical legislation and policy that remains in effect today and therefore has perpetuated the cycles of violence against Native women.

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