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Peterson commended for support of tribal law

I commend Rep. Collin Peterson for his vote to pass H.R. 725 -- the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010. This historic, bipartisan legislation will help end the epidemic level of sexual violence and rape against native American and Alaska native women in the United States.

Native women are more than 2.5 times more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted than U.S. women overall. And according to the Department of Justice, up to 86 percent of perpetrators are non-native men. All too often police are slow to respond to native women, if they respond at all. Native women rarely receive forensic medical examinations and frequently never see their cases prosecuted. Because of a confusing maze of federal, state and tribal laws and jurisdictions, perpetrators of these crimes are often not brought to justice.

The Tribal Law and Order Act was drafted in direct response to concerns raised by tribal leaders and organizations, Native women and Amnesty International USA's Maze of Injustice report. Passing the Tribal Law and Order Act will help end sexual violence against native women by taking steps to unravel the jurisdictional maze that hinders the investigation and prosecution of crimes in Indian Country.

I applaud Rep. Peterson for making that possible.

Steve Marquardt

Legislative Coordinator fpr Minnesota

Amnesty International

Lake Lillian