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FW: Abuse, the silent shame of Indian Country

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  • tepaatu@hotmail.com
    This isn t an Indian shame. As direct outcome of the daily colonial violences of white occupying forces against First Nations Peoples throughout the world, it
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 2, 2003
      FW: Abuse, the silent shame of Indian Country This isn't an Indian shame.  As direct outcome of the
      daily colonial violences of white occupying forces against First
      Nations Peoples throughout the world, it is the invaders shame.

      If any of you get the chance, see the video: 'Once Were Warriors'.

      COMMENTARY: Abuse, the silent shame of Indian Country
      Abusers preying on Indian women and children
      TULSA OK Native American Times 12/1/2003

      There is no excuse for the lack of coverage or response to the problem
      of domestic violence in Indian country.
      Too many Indian families suffer in pain and humiliation of past abuses
      in their own families. Perpetrators living with impunity in family units
      create an unbroken cycle of deep shame for too many Indian people. The
      abuser is a criminal. He or she needs to be treated and prosecuted by
      the proper authorities. Victims not only need protection from current
      abuses, but counseling for past atrocities. Therapist have said that if
      the abuse is not processed, the pain never goes away and may be repeated
      through the behavior of their children's children.
      This is one problem. There are many others.
      Part of the problem is shame-based secrecy. Still another obstacle to
      dealing with the problem is a lack of resources for victims, which too
      often are women and children. Victims are traditionally the most
      vulnerable and weakest members of our society. There is no funding for
      sufficient follow-ups on reports and lack of law enforcement to protect
      the defenseless. Tribal and BIA police officers are ill-equipped to
      handle the volume of cases or have the expertise in dealing with the
      sensitive nature of abuse.
      Another aspect of domestic violence is the inexplicable problem of too
      few reports of abuse. The reasons range from a lack of compassion from
      social programs or law enforcement. Abuse cases may also fall rather low
      on the law enforcement's priority scale. With murder and drugs occupying
      a lot of investigating times of tribal police abuse victims are ignored.
      But, that should change. Women and children are being abused at rates
      far greater than any other segment of society.
      The sex offender fraternity talks among themselves and what they are
      saying is that Indian reservations and communities are fertile grounds
      for their ugly proclivities. The word is that no one ever has to
      register as a sex offender on the often-remote reservations. The abusers
      also look at the reservations as places where they can prey on their
      victims without fear of police. They also know that they are least
      likely to be reported on or watched on Indian lands than anywhere else.
      Apathy may well be the most shameful of all impediments to protecting
      Indian families from abusers. It is painful to say, but domestic and
      sexual abuse is accepted in some communities by everyone.
      There are many problems in Indian country. Our leaders make exalted
      speeches on behalf of gaming, sovereign rights, mascots, addictions and
      other hot topics but in little homes all over Indian country, some
      people live in stark terror. Some of these people don't have time to
      worry about lofty tribal concerns; they are just trying to make it
      through the night alive or just trying to leave.
      It's time to make the abuses of our women and children the new priority
      for tribes. Other problems will have to wait, just like our Mothers and
      children had to wait.
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