Oklahomans To Be Present For Signing Of Violence Against Women A - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Oklahomans To Be Present For Signing Of Violence Against Women Act

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Alicia McLain's story of domestic abuse includes her attacker spending two years in prison, but she says many Native American women don't get that justice. Alicia McLain's story of domestic abuse includes her attacker spending two years in prison, but she says many Native American women don't get that justice.
President Barack Obama will sign the legislation Thursday. President Barack Obama will sign the legislation Thursday.
Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn opposed the bill. Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn opposed the bill.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Native American women who are victims of domestic abuse will soon have better protection under the law. The President will sign a new law Thursday addressing crimes against women on Indian land.

Several Oklahomans will be there to watch it happen.

It's a new version of the Violence Against Women Act, which gives tribes more authority to prosecute domestic abuse cases in their own courts, even if the attacker is not a member of the tribe.

Victims say it's a big victory.

Alicia McLain's story of domestic abuse includes her attacker spending two years in prison, but she says many Native American women don't get that justice.

"A lot of these women, Native American, never got their day in court and some of them never will, because they eventually probably got killed," McLain said.

President Barack Obama will sign the legislation Thursday.

2/12/2013 Related Story: Senate Passes Violence Against Women Act, Oklahoma Senators Vote 'No'

Shawn Partridge, with the family violence prevention program in the Creek Nation, flew out Wednesday for the ceremony.

"It actually gives tools back to tribes to help hold non-natives accountable when they commit acts of violence against native women on tribal lands," Partridge said.

That's one reason the measure was opposed by Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn.

"And what we've done with this solution is to trample on the Bill of Rights over every American who is not a Native American," Coburn said.

McLain believes the law is fair, that it might stop some of the abuse and prevent some of the killings.

"It's a matter of equality, really, and we all deserve to be protected," McLain said.

The new law also extends new protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people who are victims of domestic abuse.

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