U.S. House Bill Would Assist Tribal Domestic Violence Victims

Feb 26, 2019

Arizona Democrat Tom O’Halleran is cosponsoring a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives to provide resources for survivors of domestic violence in tribal communities. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports. 

Arizona Rep. Tom O'Halleran is a cosponsor of the SURVIVE Act.
Credit Tom Tingle/The Arizona Republic

The bill is called the Securing Urgent Resources Vital to Indian Victim Empowerment, or SURVIVE Act. It would create a tribal grant program through the Justice Department mandating that 5 percent of federal money allocated for crime victims benefits tribal members.

In 2018, the Crime Victims Fund awarded nearly $3.5 billion to local victim assistance programs. But according to Rep. O’Halleran, less than 1 percent typically goes to Native American survivors.

If passed, the bipartisan bill would support legal, medical and counseling services for women and children in Indian Country. New Mexico Democrat Deb Haaland and Oklahoma Republican Tom Cole have are also cosponsors.

According to the National Congress of American Indians, Native American women experience domestic violence at rates 50 percent higher than other groups.