Sending Office: Honorable Norma J. Torres
Cosponsor H.R. 4485 – Savanna’s Act
Response to the Crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women
Endorsing Organizations: National Congress of American Indians, National Indian Education Association, United South and Eastern Tribes
Original Co-Sponsors: Torres (D-CA), Cole (R-OK), Radewagen (R-AS), Poliquin (R-ME), McCollum (D-MN), Hanabusa (D-HI), Moore (D-WI), Jayapal (D-WA), Grijalva (D-AZ), Khanna (D-CA), Evans (D-PA), O’Halleran (D-AZ), Dingell (D-MI), Kind (D-WI),
Clark (D-MA), Holmes (D-DC), Pallone (D-NJ), Demmings (D-FL), Pocan (D-WI), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)
Native American women face a murder rate ten times higher than the national average, with eighty-four percent experiencing some form of violence in their lifetime. While the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 and the Tribal Law and Order
Act have helped bring attention to the high rates of violence against Native women, there is still no reliable way of knowing how many Native women go missing each year because the databases that hold statistics of these cases are extremely outdated and in
need of reform. It’s time we act.
Join Senator Heitkamp (D-ND) and Senator Murkowski (R-AK) on Savanah’s Act, a bill named in honor of Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, a 22-year old pregnant member of the Spirit Lake Tribe who was tragically murdered last August.
This legislation addresses the disturbing increase in murdered and missing Native American women by closing the gap of information sharing between tribal, local, and federal law enforcement agencies. Tribal law enforcement officers should be able to
have access to federal databases to ensure that shared information is always current and correct.
Last year, the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women awarded $56 million in grants to tribes to help combat this issue, but more can and must be done. In 2016, the National Crime Information Center recorded 125 cases of missing women and
girls from North Dakota alone. However, the number of cases could be much higher due to missing data. Many cases go unreported because of the lack of trust between tribes and law enforcement. And those who do seek help from law enforcement,
often face barriers and difficulties to getting the justice they need and deserve.
As the Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Indian, Insular, and Alaska Native Affairs and the Co-Chair of the Native American Congressional Caucus,
we urge you to join us in cosponsoring H.R. 4485 – Savanna’s Act. It’s time we bring justice to the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls nationwide.
To sign on as an original cosponsor, or if you have any questions please contact Rudy Soto at
Rudy.Soto@mail.house.gov or at 225-6161.
Norma J. Torres
Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs
Native American Congressional Caucus
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