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Section 904 Task Force

2013 Meeting | Task Force Members

The Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act of 2005, Title IX, Section 904(a)(1)(2), authorizes NIJ, in consultation with the U.S. Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women, to conduct research on violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women in Indian Country. The needed research is broad in scope, and NIJ is actively developing a research program for multiple projects over an extended time-period to address the issues. The purpose of the research program is to:

Examine violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women (including domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking and murder) and identify factors that place American Indian and Alaska Native women at risk for victimization.

Evaluate the effectiveness of federal, state, tribal, and local responses to violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women.

Propose recommendations to improve effectiveness of these responses.

National Institute of Justice's Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women: Program of Research

Section 904 Tribal Task Force

The Violence Against Women Act of 2005 (Public Law Number 109-162), at Title IX, Section 904(a) (codified at 42 U.S.C. § 3796gg-10 note) mandates that the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), in consultation with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), conduct a national baseline study on violence against American Indian and Alaska Native (AI&AN) women living in tribal communities. As a result, NIJ has developed a research program consisting of multiple projects that will be accomplished over an extended period of time to address this much needed research that is broad in scope. The purpose of the research program is to: examine violence against AI&AN women (including domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and murder) and identify factors that place AI&AN women at risk for victimization; evaluate the effectiveness of federal, state, tribal, and local responses to violence against AI&AN women; and propose recommendations to improve effectiveness of these responses.

NIJ’s Violence Against Indian Women (VAIW) program of research is designed to: (1) provide an accurate reporting of violence against AI&AN women in tribal communities for the first time, (2) provide reliable valid estimates of the scope of the problem, and (3) identify problems and possible solutions in dealing with these issues that may lead to public policies and prevention strategies designed to decrease the incidence of violent crimes committed against AI&AN women. This will be the first national effort to collect information of this kind from American Indian and Alaska Native women living in Indian Country and Alaska Native communities. Prior to and during the development of the program of research, NIJ sought input and feedback from multiple sources including the Section 904 Task Force managed by OVW, prominent researchers and experts in the field, and federal stakeholders and partners.

The legislation created an Attorney General-appointed Federal Advisory Task Force on Violence Against Indian Women, which is managed by OVW. Task Force members include representatives from tribal governments, national tribal domestic and sexual violence non-profit organizations, and other national tribal organizations that convene during their two-year appointment to provide guidance to NIJ on the this program of research.

Originally established on March 31, 2008, the Task Force meets at least once a year during members’ 2-year appointment tenure. Task Force members: 1) provide feedback on research and evaluation findings from studies conducted on violence against AI&AN women; 2) assist with recommendations resulting from study findings; 3) provide feedback on the program’s priorities; 4) assist in developing new research questions to be addressed; 5) provide feedback on research design strategies; 6) provide feedback on research and evaluation protocol issues; and 7) will provide a summary of the group’s activities and recommendations by the end of each Task Force’s term.

NIJ also is conducting a number of other studies evaluating the effectiveness of federal, state, tribal, and local response to violence against Indian women in Indian Country. These studies include primary data collection of information related to violence against Native American women, secondary data analysis relating to crime rates and responses to crimes against Indian women, and special studies relating to victimization of AI&AN women. To date, NIJ has made significant progress in evaluating the effectiveness of federal responses to crimes committed against AI&AN women living in tribal communities. However, state, local, and tribal responses have not been evaluated. In the near future, NIJ will seek proposals to conduct evaluations of promising programs that effectively respond to violence against Indian women living in tribal communities. Results from these evaluations are expected to help establish and enhance justice systems that successfully restore victim safety and promote healing.

2013 Meeting

The Attorney General, acting through the Director of the Office on Violence Against Women, established the Task Force on March 31, 2008 and re-chartered the Task Force on July 26, 2012.

OVW held a meeting of the Federal Advisory Task Force on Violence Against American Indian (AI) and Alaska Native (AN) Women on March 7 and 8, 2013.

Meeting Summary

The Violence Against Women Act of 2005 (Public Law Number 109-162), at Title IX, Section 904(a) (codified at 42 U.S.C. § 3796gg-10 note) mandates that the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), in consultation with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), conduct a national baseline study on violence against AI and AN women living in tribal communities. As a result, NIJ has developed a comprehensive research program consisting of multiple projects that will be accomplished over an extended period of time to address this much needed research. The purpose of the research program is to: examine violence against AI and AN women (including domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and murder) and identify factors that place AI and AN women at risk for victimization; evaluate the effectiveness of federal, state, tribal, and local responses to violence against AI and AN women; and propose recommendations to improve effectiveness of these responses. The Attorney General, acting through the Director of the Office on Violence Against Women, established the Task Force on March 31, 2008 and re-chartered the Task Force on April 6, 2010. 

A meeting previously scheduled for October 30 and 31, 2012, and previously announced in the Federal Register, was cancelled due to extreme weather conditions. The March 7-8 meeting will include an overview of the research program presented by NIJ staff that will include updates on program components and studies, and a summary of next steps as it pertains to the Baseline study mandated by the U.S. Congress. In addition, the Task Force is also welcoming public oral comment at this meeting.

Please contact Lorraine Edmo, OVW Deputy Director for Tribal Affairs, by email her at lorraine.edmo@usdoj.gov to register to attend the meeting and/or to provide public comment.


Task Force Members

NAME PROGRAM NAME
Alyssa Ben, Division Manager

Family Violence and Victim Services Program Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians

Jacqueline Rose Agtuca,
Director
Clan Star, Inc.
Lorrie Lee Jump,
Program Manager
Advocacy Resource Center, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Victim Services Program
Debra Elaine Gee,
Deputy Attorney General
Chickasaw Nation
Ruth Mary Jewell,
Program Coordinator
Penobscot Nation Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services Program
Dolorese (Dee) Marie Koester,
Director
Washington State Native American Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault --Women Spirit Coalition
Patricia Lynn McGeshick,
Program Director
Ft. Peck Family Violence Resource Center
Juana Majel Dixon,
Vice-President
National Congress of American Indians and Co-Chair of the NCAI Task Force on Violence Against Indian Women
Jerene Marion Museth,
Wellness Program Coordinator
Tribal Family and Youth Service Department, Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska
Carmen  Louise O’Leary,
Co-Coordinator
Native Women’s Society of the Great Plains
Rachell Marie Tenorio,
Graduate Student
New Mexico Highlands University
Crystal Cecile Tetrick,
Associate Director
Urban Indian Health Institute, Seattle Indian Health
Grant Lynn Walker,
Chief Prosecutor
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
Lorraine Janice White,
Director
Family Stabilization Program, Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center

Fourth Meeting of the Task Force on Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women

The fourth meeting of the Section 904 Violence Against Women in Indian Country Task Force took place on December 9 , 2009 in Oklahoma City. Task Force members discussed a draft of recommendations for the Department of Justice on the NIJ program of research.

Draft Recommendations

Third Meeting of the Task Force on Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women 

The third meeting of the Section 904 Violence Against Women in Indian Country Task Force took place on June 29-30, at the Office of Justice Program Conference Center, 810 Seventh Street, NW., Room 3102, Washington, DC 20531.
Panel members asked NIJ and OVW to report on the federal stakeholders meetings; to provide detailed information on the methodologies for the large, tribal representative study; and to discuss a marketing strategy for tribal participation outreach.

Updated: October 2013
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