October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (on the rez)

This billboard is in Manistee, Michigan on US-31 South, after River Street.  In fact, there are two domestic violence awareness billboards sponsored by the tribe (Little River Band of Ottawa Indians) on US-31.  This is the best billboard in Manistee yet.  I was overjoyed and moved beyond words when I saw this billboard!

Helpful Links on Domestic Violence in the Native Community

"According to Amnesty International “violence against women is one of the most pervasive human rights abuses. It is also one of the most hidden. It takes place in intimate relationships, within the family and at the hands of strangers and it affects women in every country in the world…Indigenous peoples in the USA face deeply entrenched marginalization – the result of a long history of systemic and pervasive abuse and persecution. Sexual violence against Indigenous women today is informed and conditioned by this legacy of widespread and egregious human rights abuses.” - USDOJ: Office Against Violence Against Women: Tribal Communities

"Urban Indian women may experience even higher rates of trauma. A study of Native American women living in New York City found that over 65 percent had experienced some form of interpersonal violence. Of that group, 28 percent reported childhood physical abuse, 48 percent reported rape and 40 percent reported a history of domestic violence." - Historic Trauma May Be Causing Today's Health Crisis

Introductory Manual: Addressing Domestic Violence in Indian Country

Other Helpful Links on Domestic Violence

Signs of Abuse and Abusive Relationships

Emotional Abuse

Share Your Story - How You See Domestic Violence

Take Action - Sign the petition: Don't shut down shelters and rape crisis centers - "Starting now, some rape crisis centers and domestic violence shelters may be forced to close their doors, pushing survivors out onto the streets.

Especially in rural, poor communities, these services rely heavily on federal grants to keep running. But with the federal government shut down, funding provided for these services under the Violence Against Women Act ran out last Friday. Services won’t be restored until Congress passes a government funding bill. For a woman who needs help after she’s been raped or a safe place to protect herself or her children from an abusive partner, the impact of this shutdown could be life or death."