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You Can Help Native Women

5/8/2007

According to the Department of Justice Statistics, rape in American Indian and Alaska Native communities is 3.5 times higher than among all other racial groups. V-Day first brought this staggering statistic into the public consciousness in 2003 with the Indian Country Project and Spotlight on Native and First Nations Women.

Four years later, V-Day has helped open two safe houses in South Dakota and exposed millions of women and men all over the world to these injustices. Despite these groundbreaking accomplishments, this statistic has yet to change, due in large part to the lack of resources and education among Indian Health Services (I.H.S.) emergency room and sexual assault practitioners.

The Native American Women's Health Education Resource Center, a grassroots women's health institute on the Yankton Dakota Reservation in South Dakota is working to remedy this situation by calling on the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services to bring sufficient training and resources to the I.H.S. emergency response workers.

The project will demand that I.H.S. have standardized sexual assault policies and protocols for their emergency rooms in place with trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners.

By ensuring that admissible evidence is gathered correctly, repeat rapists will be prosecuted and taken off of the streets, thereby reducing the amount of rapes within the Native communities.

YOU CAN HELP! Please read the below appeal from Charon Asetoyer, Executive Director Native American Women's Health Education Resource Center to learn more!

V-Day


Dear Sisters and Allies,

We are asking for your help in addressing the health care needs of Indigenous women who suffer from sexual violence: Indigenous women of North American experience more violence than any other group of people in this country. More than 1 in 3 will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime.

The Native American Women's Health Education Resource Center, located in Lake Andes, SD among the Ihanktowan Dakota Nation (Yankton Sioux Tribe), has been working for over four years to have Indian Health Service adopt and implement standardized policies and protocols for sexual assault at Indian Health Service (I.H.S.) emergency rooms, direct health care facilities and contract health care. The I.H.S. emergency room, for women that live on reservations, is usually the first place they go for services after a sexual assault. An essential part of our proposed protocols is that every I.H.S. emergency room, direct care health facility and contract health care facility have a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner on staff.

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