Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2018

March 27, 2018

THE NATIVE ALLIANCE AGAINST VIOLENCE UNITES OKLAHOMA TRIBES FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT AWARENESS

Event brings recognition to the American Indian women that are disproportionately affected by sexual violence

DURANT, OK – In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the Native Alliance Against Violence is sponsoring the 4th Annual Gathering of Voices: Addressing Sexual Assault in Indian Country at the Choctaw Nation Event Center in Durant, OK. The event will take place on April 5, 2018 from 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m. To register visit oknaav.eventbrite.com
 
This year’s theme is “creating safe spaces for our Native sisters.” Organizers of the gathering want to recognize the struggles of Oklahoma’s American Indian women that have been affected by sexual assault, as well as honor the advocates that provide support for these survivors. 
 
“Victims of violence deserve a voice. They deserve to be acknowledged. Native women are 2.5 times more likely to experience sexual assault crimes than all other races, so it is important to demonstrate to survivors that there are steps being taken to stop the cycle of violence”, said Dawn Stover, Executive Director of the Native Alliance Against Violence.
 
The 4th Annual Gathering of Voices: Addressing Sexual Assault in Indian Country is free and open to the public. Many of Oklahoma’s tribal domestic and sexual violence programs will be present to provide information about their respective programs with attendees. The event will begin with an opening prayer by Choctaw Nation Councilwoman Jennifer Woods, remarks by Choctaw Nation Chief Gary Batton and will also include a statement from the Choctaw Nation Sexual Response Team. The keynote speaker, Aldo Seoane, will address the ways that American Indian men can take the lead on stopping sexual violence. After the speech, there will be a special moment to honor the collective voices of sexual assault survivors and advocates. The event will end with closing remarks, a closing prayer and light refreshments.
 
“In order to create safe spaces for Native women we must encourage the public to listen to the stories of survivors with a non-judgemental ear and to continue to have respect for Native values. Sexual violence is not a part of our Native culture”, said Stover.  
 
To view all of the Oklahoma tribal domestic violence and sexual assault program events that are happening around the state, please visit oknaav.org/events.