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The Violence Against Women Act Protects Indigenous Women From Sexual Assault And Date Rape, But Congress Might Let It Expire

In the United States, women of indigenous descent face a particularly high rate of violence. In 2018, a report conducted by Indian Law Resource revealed that more than half of Indigenous women face some form of sexual violence in their lifetimes and that 4 in 5 have survived or experienced violence. In recent years, rates of missing and murdered Indigenous women have continued to rise. These statistics are far from new, in fact, studies show that Indigenous women have experienced sexual assault and physical abuse in their communities in the centuries that have marked our country’s post-colonial era. Still, even despite these numbers and the status of the Indigenous Peoples as U.S. citizens, the country’s indigenous population had no ability to pursue non-Indians for any type of crime up until 1994 when Congress reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act.

Now, 24 years later, the expiration of the act signed in 1994 threatens to strip Native women of their rights to protect themselves from domestic and dating violence.

When Congress sanctioned the Violence Against Women Act again eight years ago,  it marked a significant triumph for advocates.

The decision meant that for the first time in U.S. history, members of indigenous tribes could exercise their right to prosecute non-indigenous people who committed acts of domestic and sexual violence against. It proved to be a massive improvement on the thirty-five years that took place before it’s authorization in which indigenous communities in the U.S. did not have the ability to do so as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court decision Oliphant v. Suquamish Indian Tribe which was made in 1978. The act’s new provisions did have its faults. It failed to apply to all offenders but it did give prosecutors an opportunity to pursue non-Indigenous residents of tribal land, spouses, and partners of tribal members and those employed by organizations within tribal nations.

Despite the alarming rates at which indigenous women experience violence, certainty on the Violence Against Women Act’s reauthorization remains up in the air.

Earlier this month, the Associated Press reported that in 2017 indigenous women account for 633 cases of missing cases in the U.S. and that Native American and Alaska Natives made up 1.8 percent of missing person case being conducted by the FBI’s National Crime Information Center. Still, opposition from Congressional Republicans suggests the much-needed act could be under threat of its reauthorization date, which comes up this month on September 30th. In 2013, when re-signing of the bill was up for debate under the Obama administration, Republicans argued that the law could violate a person’s constitutional right to be tried by a jury of their peers. “Under the laws of our land, you’ve got to have a jury that is a reflection of society as a whole, and on an Indian reservation, it’s going to be made up of Indians, right?” Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said at an Iowa townhall in 2013. “So the non-Indian doesn’t get a fair trial.” Fortunately, the act was passed and the revised law was signed in February of 2013.

What will happen to VAWA at the end of the month remains to be seen.

Democratic Texas Representative Sheila Jackson Lee has rallied for its reauthorization with a new bill that would increase protections for Indigenous victims of sex trafficking, sexual violence, and harassers. Even then, advocates have said that they have yet to see official pushes for the acts resigning.


Read: Kelis’s Interview About Self-Evolution And The Importance Of Not Valuing Fame Highlights What Young Black Girls Need To Know About Their Careers

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The Spanish ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ Is Being Shared To Honor Hispanic Workers Fighting COVID-19

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The Spanish ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ Is Being Shared To Honor Hispanic Workers Fighting COVID-19

There’s no denying that the world looks a lot different now than it did in 1947. And while the list of all of the positive changes that the decades stretching between now and then have done for the world and minorities, a recent campaign is also highlighting the ways in which our current president could take some notes on certain values the United States held dear during this time. Particularly ones that had been pressed for by one of our former presidents.

As part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Good Neighbor Policy” effort, he worked to promote positive and healthy relations between the United States in Latin American countries.

At the time Rooseveltaimed to ensure that the North, Central and South American countries avoided breaking under the influence of Axis countries during World War II. As part of this campaign, Roosevelt comissioned a Spanish and a Portuguese version of the U.S. national anthem. According to Time Magazine he also “recruited Hollywood to participate in this Good Neighbor Policy; Walt Disney went on goodwill tour of South America, hoping to find a new market for his films, and ended up producing two movies inspired by the trip: Saludos Amigos (1942) and The Three Caballeros (1944). The Brazilian star Carmen Miranda also got a boost, and her role in The Gang’s All Here made her even more famous in the U.S. And alongside these cross-cultural exchanges, the U.S. government decided it needed an anthem that could reach Spanish speakers.”

According to NPR, Clotilde Arias, wrote wrote the translation at the end of World War II, was born in the small Peruvian city, Iquitos in 1901 and moved to New York City to become a composer when she was 22-years-old. Her version of the anthem is now part of an exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Now in an effort to support Latino communities affected by the coronavirus, the non-profit We Are All Human Foundation’s Hispanic Star campaign commissioned the a remake of the song.

Hoping to raise awareness of its Hispanic Recovery Plan and efforts to help to connect Hispanic small businesses and workers with resources during the pandemic, the campaign brought the old recording from obscurity.

For the song, the 2019 winner of the singing competition La Voz,  Jeidimar Rijos, performed “El Pendón Estrellado.” Or, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” 

The song has already received quite a bit of comments and support on Youtube.

Hang in there, fam. We can only get through this together.

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A Group Of Primarily Female Mexican Scientists Discovered A Potential Cure For HPV

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A Group Of Primarily Female Mexican Scientists Discovered A Potential Cure For HPV

“If you’re having sex, you’ll likely contract HPV at some point in your life.” That is how one gynecologist explained the sexually transmitted diseases to me, which completely freaked me out. Even though human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common virus contracted through sexual intercourse, it doesn’t make it less scary when you realize that it’s related to 150 viruses and can lead to cancer for both men and women. While there are vaccines available to prevent the spread of HPV to a broader age group than in previous years, we are finally closer to finding a cure.

A group of primarily female Mexican scientists at the National Polytechnic Institute cured their patients of HPV.

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The team of researchers, led by Dr. Eva Ramos Gallegos (pictured above), treated 420 patients from Veracruz and Oaxaca, and 29 from Mexico City. They used “photodynamic therapy” which “is a treatment that involves using a drug, called a photosensitizer or photosensitizing agent, and a particular type of light to treat different areas of the body” according to their report.

The doctors found extraordinary results through their method of treatment that led to cure 100 percent of the people that had HPV. They also cured 64.3 percent of people infected with HPV that had cancerous cells, and 57.2 percent of people that had cancerous cells without the HPV virus. That last result could mean that a cure for cancer is not far behind.

“Unlike other treatments, it only eliminates damaged cells and does not affect healthy structures. Therefore, it has great potential to decrease the death rate from cervical cancer,” Dr. Gallegos told Radio Guama.

People on social media ecstatically hailed the finding by the Mexicana researchers.

We highly doubt President Trump will ever mention this achievement.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has yet to comment on this remarkable finding.

While there’s more testing that will inevitably take place, we will have to wait and see how long it takes for other researchers and scientists to catch on to their method of treatment.

The fact that a woman-led team discovered this cure is something we should all be applauding.

Hopefully, their research will get more funding so they can further test patients and help educate others about their process.

According to the CDC,  79 million Americans, primarily teens and people in the early 20s, are infected with HPV. In most cases, HPV goes away on its own and does not cause any health problems. But when HPV does not go away, it can cause health problems like genital warts and cancer. The way to prevent contracting HPV is by getting the vaccine — available for males and females — and by using condoms. However, you can still contract HPV because HPV can infect areas not covered by a condom – so condoms may not adequately protect against getting HPV.

READ: Here Are A Handful Of Reasons Why We Need To Talk To Latinx Kids About S-E-X

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