Spousal abuse would land the perpetrator in jail anywhere in the country. But on some Indian reservations U.S. laws give tribal police no jurisdiction over non-tribal abusers. States have no jurisdiction on tribal lands.
As a result, abused women go unprotected. Legislation to fix the problem has passed both houses of Congress, but in differing forms. Until the two sides in Washington can find agreement, battered women on tribal lands will remain in a legal limbo and their abusers know it.