Phase Two is the implementation phase, when tribes will formally request to begin exercising SDVCJ.
This is noteworthy because the definitions of domestic and dating violence require some evidence of a preexisting relationship between the defendant and the victim.They therefore prohibit the prosecution of a defendant for sexual assault that occurred during a “hook up,” or any other instance in which the defendant and the victim do not have a prior romantic relationship.DATES: Preliminary Expressions of Interest from tribes are due July 14, 2013 (30 days after publication in the Federal Register, June 14, 2013).Comments on the proposed procedures are due September 12, 2013 (90 days after date of publication in the Federal Register, June 14, 2013). Tracy Toulou, Director, Office of Tribal Justice, Department of Justice, at (202) 514-8812 (not a toll-free number) or e-mail [email protected] 908(b)(1) of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) of 2013 provides that tribes generally cannot exercise special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction (SDVCJ) until after March 7, 2015. Department of Justice (DOJ) has published proposed procedures for an Indian tribe to request designation as a participating tribe under the Pilot Project, and also proposes procedures for the Attorney General to act on such a request.
However, section 908(b)(2) establishes a “Pilot Project” that authorizes the Attorney General, in the exercise of his discretion, to grant a tribe’s request to be designated as a “participating tribe” on an accelerated basis and to commence exercising SDVCJ on a date set by the Attorney General (prior to March 7, 2015), after coordinating with the Secretary of the Interior, consulting with affected tribes, and concluding that the tribe’s criminal justice system has adequate safeguards in place to protect defendants’ rights. This notice also invites public comment on the proposed procedures and solicits preliminary interest to participate in the Pilot Program.
Native women are battered, raped, and stalked at far greater rates than any other population of women in the United States: 34% of Native women will be raped in their lifetimes and 39% will be the victim of domestic violence. Amnesty International’s Maze of Injustice Report (2007) similarly noted that American Indian and Alaska Native women continue to experience high levels of sexual violence.
Violence in Indian country is compounded by a systemic failure to prosecute offenders.
In addition to sexual assault, the expanded criminal jurisdiction does not include the crimes of child abuse or elder abuse.
“Special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction” is reserved only for certain defendants.
If a defendant commits sexual assault, and the assault does not occur within the contexts of either domestic violence, dating violence, or a violation of a protection order, then the tribal court remains without recourse.