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Tell Congress: Pass the Not Invisible Act of 2019

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The petition to Congress reads:

"Violence against indigenous women and girls is an epidemic in the United States. Defend indigenous women's human rights and pass the Not Invisible Act of 2019."

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    Tell Congress: Pass the Not Invisible Act of 2019

    Violence against indigenous women and girls is a national epidemic and human rights crisis that must end now.

    Eighty-four percent of indigenous women experience physical, sexual or psychological violence in their lifetime.1 One in 2 indigenous women will also experience sexual violence, and indigenous women are 10 times more likely to be murdered as compared to the national average.2

    The lack of federal response to this epidemic is a crisis rooted in a legacy of violence and racism. The Not Invisible Act of 2019 is bipartisan legislation to address this crisis. The bill would create an advisory committee of local, tribal and federal agencies to coordinate efforts to prevent and protect indigenous women from violence and put the national spotlight on this silent crisis.3 Congress needs to act now.

    Tell Congress: End violence against indigenous women and pass the Not Invisible Act of 2019.

    Indigenous women have experienced historical violence and brutality – and that violence still exists today. Indigenous women experience some of the highest rates of violence and murder within the United States, and 86% of this violence is committed by non-indigenous people.4, 5 The racism that created the Trail of Tears and the Long Walk is the same racism causing violence against indigenous communities today. The rape and sexual violence of indigenous women stems from a violent history of colonization and conquest of indigenous tribes and land – explaining why present-day perpetrators of violence against indigenous women are mainly from outside of their own communities.

    For far too long, indigenous women have been denied justice. Barriers including under-funded and under-resourced tribal law enforcement and limitations imposed on tribal courts that prohibit the prosecution of crimes committed by non-indigenous people allow perpetrators to commit crimes against indigenous women with impunity.6 The Not Invisible Act is a step in the right direction toward addressing these barriers and would prioritize this epidemic across local and federal agencies. If passed, the act would open collaboration across federal agencies, law enforcement and elected tribal officials and dedicate resources to fight for the justice of missing, murdered and trafficked women.

    The Not Invisible Act is the first bill in history to be introduced by four enrolled members of federally recognized tribes: Representatives Deb Haaland (Pueblo of Laguna), Tom Cole (Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma), Sharice Davids (Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin) and Markwayne Mullin (Cherokee Nation).7 We need to show Congress that we stand behind indigenous women and communities fighting for dignity and safety – and we will no longer allow this silent crisis to be ignored.

    Tell Congress: Stand with indigenous women and pass the Not Invisible Act of 2019.

    References:

    1. Indian Law Resource Center, "Ending Violence Against Native Women," accessed May 13, 2019.
    2. Maya Salam, "Native American Women Are Facing a Crisis," The New York Times, April 12, 2019.
    3. Graham Lee Brewer, "The crisis of murdered and missing Indigenous women," High Country News, May 4, 2018.
    4. Fault Lines, "The Search: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women," Al Jazeera, May 8, 2019.
    5. Amnesty International, "Maze of Injustice," accessed May 13, 2019.
    6. Ibid.
    7. Rep. Deb Haaland, "Haaland Leads Historic Bill to Increase Focus on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women," May 1, 2019.