Spending Package Extends VAWA With No New Provisions

Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2018 - 6:19pm
Updated: Thursday, September 27, 2018 - 11:49am
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Laurel Morales/KJZZ
A painting that hangs in the Pascua Yaqui Victims' Services office.

The U.S. House passed a spending package Wednesday to avoid a government shutdown Oct. 1. That bill, if signed by President Trump, would also extend legislation that funds programs to help victims of sexual assault and domestic violence for six more months.

The extension gives Violence Against Women Act  programs some relief but it does not include some key new provisions tribal leaders would like to see. In 2013 the re-authorization gave American Indian tribes jurisdiction to prosecute non-native offenders to protect women but no other family members.

"The majority of our cases there have been children involved — children in the home, children at the scene of these crimes, children who have been victims of crime committed by this non Indian and we were not able to protect the children," said Alfred Urbina, the attorney general for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe in southern Arizona.

Urbina and other tribal officials would like to see the Violence Against Women Act expand to include children and other family members.

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