Taubman Center Director Wendy Schiller recently co-authored a paper in Perspectives on Politics titled "Obstacles to Federal Policy Adoption: The Case of Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdictions in Native American Tribal Nations."
The abstract for Schiller's paper states: "A core tenet of representation is that individuals should expect government to actively protect their human security. In the issue area of domestic violence in the United States, government largely fails to do this for women, who comprise three-quarters of all victims of domestic violence. Nowhere is this more apparent than for Native American women living on tribal lands. In terms of lifetime physical violence, nearly 52% of Native American women will be physically abused compared to 30.5% of white women, 41.2% of African American women, and 29.7% of Hispanic women (Crepelle 2020; Institute for Women’s Policy Research 2023). One of the main obstacles to keeping Native American women safer is that tribal nations have been functionally prohibited from prosecuting non-Native offenders of violence against Native Americans on their lands. Non-Native offenders comprise the bulk of domestic violence abusers in these communities. To address this inequity, the 2013 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) created Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdictions (SDVCJs). Through an application process, federally recognized tribal nations can create these jurisdictions to provide justice for the many women who are victims of domestic violence at the hands of non-Native persons. In this article we explore which tribal nations created these jurisdictions using an original dataset of the 354 tribal nations that were eligible to adopt an SDVCJ following the 2013 VAWA reauthorization. As of 2022, 31 tribal nations have adopted SDVCJs across 13 states, which have led to 74 domestic violence convictions. In this article, we explain adoption of these courts as a function of population, tribal nation fiscal capacity, federal grant support, and having an existing self-governance compact with the Bureau of Indian Affairs."