Sacred Shawl Society
Ending Domestic Violence
Through Education and Prevention
Wild Horse Butte Community Development Corporation has identified education and prevention of Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault as a priority in our Tribally communities. A series of meetings were held throughout the Reservation to identify what could be done at the grassroots level to address the epidemic for domestic violence/sexual assault taking place in our communities.
In efforts to address the limited/lack of services, Wild Horse Butte CDC has been actively working on building capacity and developing a nonprofit organization the “Sacred Shawl Society”. The Scared Shawl Society has developed a Board of Directors and developed Articles of Incorporation, By-laws, and a mission statement that will guide the Society in addressing the needs of our tribal members. Wild Horse Butte Community Development Corporation has identified funds to hire an Executive Director to work for the Scared Shawl Society in the furtherance of the mission statement of the Society.
The Oglala Lakota Sioux Housing Authority (OSLHA) has worked with Wild Horse Butte CDC, Sacred Shawl Society, and OST Victim Service on a property that is owned by the Housing Authority that would serve as a Shelter/Safe House
As evidence shows, any community that faces high rate of poverty, social problems are inevitable. Lack of home leads to overcrowding, with several families residing in one home, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence/sexual assault have reached epidemic levels. According to the annual 2012 statistics, 130 women, 5 men and 422 children were at risk of losing their lives and were placed in shelters. Other reported cases of domestic violence/sexual assault included: 1377 arrests, 365 hospitalized, 904 assaults, 360 disorderly conducts, 76 rapes, 6 abductions and 162 protection orders. The crisis hotline calls (local only) totaled 3,120 along with 2,340 individual advocacy contacts and 1,246 individual advocacy contacts and 1,246 shelter nights requested. A total of 57 requested went unresolved. It is important to note that these are only those that are reporting a crime that is usually kept in silence so this problem most likely more than doubles if not triples. Many who call have not received help so they no longer report.
In 2014 the Indian Health Service opened the Four Directors Clinic in Kyle SD. The purpose of the clinic is to provide access to tribal members needing care after a sexual assault or abuse. In addition, the clinic provides forensic exams with services for sexual assault evidence collection, protection for sexual transmitted infections, protection from unintended pregnancy and follow-up care. The clinic has developed a SART, Sexual Assault Response Team that work with tribal members that have been the clinic provides forensic exams with services for sexual assault evidence collection, protection for sexual transmitted infections, protection from unintended pregnancy and follow-up care. The clinic has developed a SART, Sexual Assault Response Team that work with tribal members that have been Victims Sexual Assault.
4 Directions Clinic saw a total of 47 children with services including forensic interviews and medical exams. This greatly decreased the need for our children to be taken to Rapid City for forensic interviews as victims or witnesses to sexual violence.
The primary gap in services is the lack of a shelter/safe place. Since 2010 when the domestic violence shelter “Cangleska” ceased to provide services, there has been a critical shortage of services. With the closing of “Cangleska” the Oglala Sioux Tribe lost the shelter and funding that was available to provide critical services.
A key component of domestic violence/sexual assault is meeting the emergencies needs. Medical attention if needed is the first priority. Once the immediate medical needs are taken care the second priority is providing a shelter/safe place. Presently there is not an operational shelter/safe place on the Pine Ridge Reservation. This situation places tremendous difficulty in providing services for our residents. Presently the OST Victims Services transport victims and their families to shelters off reservation. The fact that the victims are relocated, traumatizes them further, by removing than from the Reservation where they have the support of extended families. In addition the services that can be provided in a culturally sensitive manner are not provided in an off reservation setting.
Safety ~ Advocacy ~ Education
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Victims Service and Sacred Circle Women's Society are members of two coalitions; The Native Women's Society of the Great Plains and South Dakota Coalition Ending Domestic and Sexual Violence. Both coalitions provide resources, support and training.
SD Coalition Ending Domestic and Sexual Violence, OST Victim Services are one of the governing membership of this programs whose purpose is responding to women who have been battered/raped regardless of race or gender.
SD Coalition Ending Domestic and Sexual Violence provides technical assistance, decision-making, training, publicity, conference scholarships, community education and public awareness materials to attend quarterly meetings.