Navajo Nation council unanimously adopts victims' bill of rights

Published: Friday, September 1, 2023 - 1:31pm

The Navajo Nation council has approved the Nation’s Victims Rights Act of 2023, which is intended to offer more support to victims of sexual assault, rape, domestic violence and other types of violent crimes. 

"We have some serious problems, ladies and gentlemen," said Michael Henderson, director of criminal investigations for the Navajo Nation. Speaking at a press conference, he said sex crimes on the Nation are higher than the national average. And homicides are four times above the national rate.

Laurelle Shepherd, program director for Navajo Nation victim services for northern Arizona, said the legislation makes it easier for her office to offer more services.

"Right now, if someone is a victim of a violent crime we have to quickly figure out to get an order of protection signed and approved by the court systems," she said.

The legislation moves to president Buu Nygren’s desk next.  

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