MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

January 23, 2013

THE PEOPLE SPEAK – All women deserve protection of law


— The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), proposed by the Senate has been allowed to die in the House. House Republicans refused to accept “a key protection for Native American women” in the Senate version. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla, told Huffpost that he absolutely supports the Senate bill and believed if the bill were brought up, it would pass.

President Obama gave his support for the bill because it would help “bring to justice anyone Indian or non-Indian who hurts a woman.” That goal is far from being realized now. Non-Indian men commit an estimated 80 percent of rape on Indian women, and according to the 2010 report by the General Accounting office. U.S. attorneys “declined to prosecute 46 percent of assaults and 6 percent of sexual abuse and related matters.”

All people who want rapists charged and prosecuted should support this law and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and her plan to reintroduce it. Let Rep. Cole know we support him in getting this law passed. Justice should be for everyone, no matter the gender or race.

EDWARD V. HARRIS

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