Legislators To Unveil Bill To Help Missing And Abused Native American Women

Sep 17, 2019

Credit Wikimedia Commons Fmtechgirl

Legislators will be in Lac du Flambeau Wednesday to discuss a bipartisan bill aimed at lessening the scourge of violence against tribal women.

Three Democrats, State Senator Janet Bewley and State Representatives Beth Meyers and Amanda Stuck will hold a press conference to introduce bipartisan legislation focused on studying and eliminating violence against tribal women and girls. Republican Representative Jeff Mursau of Crivitz is also a co-sponsor.

Bewley says the idea of the bill is to focus in on just what is happening...

"....Native American women have much higher rates of being abducted, of going missing, of being murdered, and yet we don't have an accurate grasp of the data. We don't know how many women have gone missing. We know anecdotally that the number is painfully high...."

She says in the way police records are kept it's difficult to see the numbers of Native women who have been assaulted and then proceed with a different strategy. Bewley says this is a baseline step to see that there's a way to gathering accurate data...

"...See to it we have a way of gathering accurate data, encouraging people to report when a native woman has gone missing or is feared being in danger in any way. Then we will be able to use that to come up with even better strategies to protect Native women..."

The National Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center found in 2018 that more than 4 in 5 American Indian and Alaska Native women have experienced violence in their lifetimes. More than half have experienced sexual violence or physical violence from a partner. Almost half have been stalked in their lifetimes.