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ABQ Journal: Violence Act will protect women on reservations

The reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which Congress passed last week, will give tribal courts in New Mexico the long-awaited authority to prosecute non-Indians in domestic violence cases on tribal land, according to women’s and tribal groups.

“I know it’s something the tribes have been waiting for, for years,” said Corrine Sanchez, executive director of Tewa Women United, an intertribal group in support of women based in Española.

Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., who helped craft the provisions in the Indian Affairs Committee, said in a statement that the act closes “jurisdictional loopholes to ensure justice is done in Indian Country by allowing tribes to combat domestic violence in their own communities and through their courts.”

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