From Representative Gianforte’s Office
WASHINGTON — Congressman Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) and a bipartisan group of legislators introduced Savanna’s Act, a bill to address the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women.
Native American women face a murder rate 10 times higher than the national average, and 84 percent experience some form of violence in their lifetime.
There is no reliable way of knowing how many Native women go missing each year. The databases that hold statistics of these cases are outdated, and there is a lack of coordination among law enforcement agencies.
“We face an epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women in Montana and across our country. They are our sisters and daughters, and they deserve justice,” Gianforte said. “Savanna’s Act will help upgrade critical data and enhance communication among law enforcement to better address this heartbreaking crisis. With these improved tools, we can start finding answers for their families and prevent future tragedies.”
The bipartisan bill will require federal agencies to update the current federal database to include data relating to a missing person’s tribal affiliation. It will also create standardized protocols to serve as guidelines for law enforcement agencies for this epidemic.
The bill is named in honor of Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, a 22-year-old pregnant member of the Spirit Lake Tribe who was tragically murdered in August 2017.
Both of Montana’s U.S. senators support a Senate companion bill, S. 227.