Sexual Assault Awareness Month
The NAAV featured pictures and videos created by Oklahoma’s tribal DVSA programs every single day of April in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. These pictures depicted tribal engagement in an actions to prevent and eradicate sexual violence. This year’s SAAM theme is ‘Standing Up > Speaking Out > Taking Action’. #NativeAction
The Quapaw Nation Family Service Department presented the Quapaw Nation Business Committee with a Sexual Assault Awareness Month Proclamation. It will be officially read and voted upon at the Business Committee Meeting on April 20th. A tribal government makes a public statement condemning sexual assault with a proclamation and it shows their commitment to shift the attitudes that allow sexual assault to go unanswered and unpunished. Does your tribe make a proclamation for SAAM? If not, give them a call and ask them to take #NativeAction against sexual violence by making their own proclamation!
The Wheelock Academy Historic Site and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Family Services program are taking #NativeAction and grabbing attention by decorating a SAAM statistics tree. More than 56 percent of Native American women have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime (Source: Rosay, André B., “Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women and Men,” NIJ Journal 277 (2016): 38-45, available at http://nij.gov/journals/277/Pages/violence-againstamerican-indians-alaska-natives.aspx) Preventing sexual violence begins with awareness!
Have you ever seen news about someone being sexually assaulted and thought, “What were they wearing?” “What were they drinking?” or “Why were they out at night?” If you have, these are NOT the questions you should be asking yourself. This is called victim-blaming. A victim has done NOTHING to deserve being sexually assaulted. These men are taking #NativeAction by ending victim-blaming and saying “Don’t rape” instead of “don’t get raped”.
Registering to vote is one of the easiest ways to take #NativeAction for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Okay you might be wondering how your vote could possibly matter… Well, the best way to impact change is to vote for: officials that are willing to support legislation that prevents sexual assault, prosecutes violent offenders, and promotes education around consent. We have the forms, but do you have the guts to register and vote for what really matters?
We all love to blast some good powwow music every now and then, but have you thought about the last time you heard misogynistic themes in movies or music on the radio? It’s all around us, all the time. Trying to hide from it would mean sitting in an empty cave for the rest of our lives. We can’t censor everything, but we can take #NativeAction by recognizing and calling out problematic lyrics/images. Let’s start by having an open discourse about why this type of media is damaging. This article has more on the topic: https://tinyurl.com/y4vx8o86
Traditional languages are powerful. They remind us of the strength that our ancestors possessed. The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Family Violence Prevention Program is taking #NativeAction by saying “SVNVCOMC VM ETEKTVNKE-SEKO | never without my permission”
“Lighten up, it’s just a joke”. It’s a phrase we have all heard. But sometimes it’s not just a joke. Sexist and homophobic humor creates an environment where it becomes socially acceptable to express sexism and perpetrate violence against women and the LGBTQ2+ community. You can take #NativeAction by standing up for yourself or others when you hear an inappropriate joke. Here are some surprisingly funny ways to dismiss sexist jokes: https://tinyurl.com/yb6evmmh
Take #NativeAction by printing this picture and signing the pledge! What else do you pledge to do for Sexual Assault Awareness Month?
Take #NativeAction by sharing that survivors of sexual assault can choose to have a Forensic/SANE exam done. This exam is a free resource that collects, preserves, and documents evidence after sexual assault. Not all medical facilities provide these exams but an advocate can assist survivors in locating a nearby facility that does. Here is a link to what you can typically expect from a SANE exam: https://www.rainn.org/articles/rape-kit
The Kiowa Tribe Domestic Family Violence Program & Social Services wants to tell you that you can take #NativeAction this month by knowing your resources. Help is available. The NAAV has a list of all of Oklahoma’s tribal domestic violence and sexual assault programs here > https://oknaav.org/tribalprograms.
Being drunk does not give someone the right to sexually assault you. The Kaw Nation Family Trauma Healing Center wants everyone to take #NativeAction by understanding that drinking alcohol does not mean consent. Confused about consent? Read more here: http://tinyurl.com/y44cweql
"You can't really understand another person's experience until you've walked a mile in their shoes." Sometimes those shoes are moccasins, and sometimes they are red heels. You can take #NativeAction by grabbing a male friend and posting a picture of you in a pair of heels to bring attention to men's sexualized violence against women. It’s a lighthearted and funny way to address a serious issue. Show your friends that you stand up for Native women everywhere! These pictures show the Choctaw Nation (right) and the collaboration between the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma HAVEN Program, the Wyandotte Nation Family Violence Prevention Program, the Seneca-Cayuga Nation Violence Prevention Program, the Quapaw Tribe Family Service Department, and police departments racing in their red heels (above).
"You can't really understand another person's experience until you've walked a mile in their shoes." Sometimes those shoes are moccasins, and sometimes they are red heels. You can take #NativeAction by grabbing a male friend and posting a picture of you in a pair of heels to bring attention to men's sexualized violence against women. It’s a lighthearted and funny way to address a serious issue. Show your friends that you stand up for Native women everywhere!
Do you know what the acronym SART means? It stands for Sexual Assault Response Teams. Sexual violence can affect many aspects of someone’s life, including their mental/physical health, safety, family, work and finances. This photo shows the Chickasaw Nation SART gathering to take #NativeAction. SARTs can include specifically trained members in the healthcare field, law enforcement, prosecution, and advocacy; They are all working towards the goal of providing victims the best trauma informed responses. More about SARTs can be found here > https://www.nsvrc.org/sarts/toolkit
The Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes Family Violence Prevention and Services, Tribal Family Advocacy and Prevention participated in the national NoMore Campaign to bring attention to the millions of people each year affected by domestic violence and sexual assault. This website is filled with easy ways to make some noise and take #NativeAction to end the violence! https://nomore.org/
Take #NativeAction by writing a letter to a survivor of sexual assault. You could also collect letters from your friends, family, and co-workers and mail them to your local tribal DVSA program.
Ask your coworkers to help decorate your office teal in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Grab a couple of friends and have fun decorating a banner or a poster with some words of encouragement for survivors of sexual violence. The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Family Violence Prevention Program took #NativeAction by putting up this banner in their tribal building so that all their tribal members passing by would be able to see the SAAM message.
Take #NativeAction and get to know the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and the legislators who support it. VAWA is a critical piece of legislation that authorizes and appropriates funding to agencies, including tribal, who provide services to victims of violence. For more information on how VAWA affects tribal communities visit: https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/12/native-women-domestic-violence-vawa-congress/
The Wyandotte Nation Family Services Program is taking #NativeAction by literally weaving their culture into the healing process. Beading, singing, dancing, or participating in your tribe’s ceremony is something special. Many of Oklahoma’s tribal DVSA programs have utilized this aspect of cultural healing in free programs for survivors.
SAAM is coming to an end, but the #NativeAction you take today can have a lifetime impact on how your community views sexual assault. The Apache Tribe Violence-Free Living Program wants you to be proud of your voice. When you speak out against sexual assault your friends and family are listening to how you talk about the issue. You are an influencer, so use your voice to show survivors that you believe them, and they are not to blame for the violence.
The Delaware Tribe of Indians Family & Children Services are showing their support by making signs. You can also take #NativeAction by making a sign to show that you want to erase violence in Native communities.
There is strength in Native communities. The Choctaw Nation Family Services program wants you to take #NativeAction by helping to educate the community (or yourself), offer support to victims in the best way you can, and reinforce the idea that blaming a victim for a perpetrator's violence is never okay.
The Eastern Shawnee Tribe HAVEN Program is taking #NativeAction by fighting sexual assaults through the legal system! Did you know that there is such a thing as “victim’s rights”? Contact your local tribal domestic violence and sexual assault program to get in touch with an advocate and legal program like the NAAV’s CIRCLE Project: https://oknaav.org/about
Here are two love birds taking #NativeAction by being role models of a healthy relationship. They show that it’s important to: • Compromise. Disagreements are a natural part of healthy relationships, but it’s important that they find a way to compromise if they disagree on something • Be Supportive. Build each other up, don’t tear each other down • Respect each other. Each partner’s wishes and feelings have value •
The RISE (Respect-Inspire-Support-Empower) group is comprised of advocates and leaders of the North East tribes in Oklahoma including the Eastern Shawnee Tribe HAVEN Program, Peoria Tribe, Quapaw Nation Family Services Department, Seneca-Cayuga Nation Violence Prevention Program, and the Wyandotte Nation Family Services Program. They came together to help you take #NativeAction by showing you appropriate phrases to say to a survivor of sexual violence.
The Quapaw Nation Family Service Department made this video showing their tribe’s pledge to believe survivors of sexual assault. This is a great example of working together and taking #NativeAction against sexual violence!
You can take #NativeAction by stepping back, and allowing a victim of sexual violence to have control of their own situation. Let them tell you how and when they want to receive help.
The Absentee Shawnee Tribe Domestic Violence and Family Services Program has created this video to show you the myths versus the facts of sexual assault. Watch and see how often you may have heard these misconceptions, and how you can take #NativeAction to reject them.
Consent is giving permission for something to happen or agreeing to do something and means always choosing to respect the personal and emotional boundaries of others. Take #NativeAction by understanding and teaching others what consent is. Learn more about consent here: https://www.nsvrc.org/saam
Take #NativeAction and watch this video to understand why you’ll want to wear denim on April 24th.