First lady Vikki Shirley appointed to violence task force

Navajo Nation first lady Vikki Shirley (second fron left) was appointed to the Violence Against Indian Women Task Force by Mary Beth Buchanan (far left), acting director of the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women. Also attending last month’s tribal consultation meeting in Albuquerque was Lorraine Edmo (second from right), deputy director for tribal affairs in the Office on Violence Against Women and Kristen Rowe, principal deputy director of the Office on Violence Against Women. (Photo by George Hardeen/OPVP).

Navajo Nation first lady Vikki Shirley (second fron left) was appointed to the Violence Against Indian Women Task Force by Mary Beth Buchanan (far left), acting director of the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women. Also attending last month’s tribal consultation meeting in Albuquerque was Lorraine Edmo (second from right), deputy director for tribal affairs in the Office on Violence Against Women and Kristen Rowe, principal deputy director of the Office on Violence Against Women. (Photo by George Hardeen/OPVP).

WINDOW ROCK-Navajo Nation first lady Vikki Shirley was appointed to the newly-formed national Violence Against Indian Women Task Force Oct. 4 by Mary Beth Buchanan, the acting director of the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women.

"I'm happy to accept the appointment to represent the Navajo Nation at the national level," Shirley said. "Our collaborative voice is needed to address violence against women in Indian Country. I will do my part to serve and help promote justice."

Title IX of the Violence Against Women Act of 2005 requires the National Institute of Justice to conduct a national baseline research study on violence against Native American women.

The study will include examining domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking and murder. It will evaluate the effectiveness of the federal, state and tribal response to violence against Indian women, and will propose recommendations to improve the government response.

A report on the study's findings and recommendations will be submitted to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees.

The task force was established to assist with development of the study and the implementation of its recommendations.

The first lady also announced that the Navajo Nation received a $398,000 grant from the Office on Violence Against Women to encourage that domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking be treated as serious violations of criminal law.

For more information, contact the Office of the First Lady at (928) 871-7008.

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