25 Ariz. St. L.J. 407 (1993)
Hozho's Sokee' - Stay Together Nicely: Domestic Violence under Navajo Common Law

handle is hein.journals/arzjl25 and id is 417 raw text is: Hozho' Sokee' - Stay Together Nicely:
Domestic Violence Under Navajo
Common Law
James W. Zion*
Elsie B. Zion**
INTRODUCTION: INSTITUTIONALIZED VIOLENCE IN THE NAVAJO NATION
As it is in other parts of the United States, domestic violence is a
severe problem in the Navajo Nation. Statistics compiled in a report
by the Navajo Nation Department of Law Enforcement show that 0.6
to 1%    of Navajos over age 18 are victims of domestic violence.' The
same report projects that, by 1995, 1.5 to 1.8%            of the Navajo Nation
population will have been involved in an altercation with parents,
children, or siblings, and that in a projected population of 198,000,
there will be 3,564 cases of domestic violence among adults over age
18 .2
In October, 1991, subcommittees of the Navajo Nation Council, in
cooperation with the Navajo Nation Judicial Branch, held a hearing
on the scope and impact of domestic violence. The hearing, which was
held in the aftermath of the deaths of Navajo women at the hands of
*  James W. Zion is a 1966 graduate of the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota) and a
1969 graduate of the Columbus School of Law, Catholic University of America (District of
Columbia). He has been involved in Indian affairs law since 1975, and served as the Solicitor to
the Judicial Branch of the Navajo Nation from 1981 through 1983, and 1991 to the present.
**   Elsie B. Zion (B.A., M.P.S., J.D. (1987), University of New Mexico) is an instructor
with the Women Studies Department of the University of New Mexico, and teaches Indian
women's studies. She has also served as the Chief Justice of the Zuni Pueblo Court of Appeals.
The views expressed in this work are not necessarily the official position of the Judicial Branch
of the Navajo Nation, its justices or its judges.
1. Navajo Nation Department of Law Enforcement, Navajo Division of Public Safety,
Narrative Report on Domestic Violence [18] (1991) (unpublished statistical data). Participants in
an October 1991 hearing on domestic violence generally agreed that these figures are a gross
undercount. They are based upon arrest records for only the offenses of assault or battery; they
do not reflect either reports of violence without arrest or incidents where victims were discouraged
from reporting to the police.
2. Id. at 12. This estimate states that the group at risk is aged 25 through 44. Again, the
projected number of victims is most likely seriously underestimated.

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