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Tribal Legal Code Resource: Domestic Violence Laws - Guide for Drafting or Revising Victim-Centered Tribal Laws Against Domestic Violence

NCJ Number
Sarah Deer; Maureen White Eagle; Kelly Stoner; Carrie A. Martell; Hallie Bongar White
Date Published
February 2015
235 pages
This is the revised and updated (February 2015) Guide for Drafting or Revising Victim-Centered Tribal Laws Against Domestic Violence.
As sovereign governments, many tribes have asserted concurrent or exclusive criminal and/or civil jurisdiction in domestic violence cases. A component of a tribal response to domestic violence is to draft or revise tribal domestic violence laws. This resource guide was developed to provide a starting point for drafting or revising tribal laws on domestic violence. It is based in the perspective that tribal laws should reflect tribal values. In addition, writing a tribal law usually requires careful consideration of how State and/or Federal laws might apply in the community. This guide provides examples from a variety of tribal codes, along with discussion questions designed to help tribal community members decide on the best laws for their community. Following guidance on general provisions of tribal domestic violence law, sections of the Guide address jurisdiction (criminal jurisdiction and civil jurisdiction); criminal domestic violence statutes; protection orders; family law and child custody; and education and batterer intervention. The section on criminal domestic violence statutes discusses the definition of domestic violence, the roles of law enforcement and tribal prosecutors, the role of courts, evidence, victims' rights in criminal proceedings, and sanctions. A 12-item annotated bibliography of resources freely available for downloading is intended to assist tribal governments in creating a comprehensive, community-based, victim-centered response to violence against Native women.