For Immediate Release
Contact: Kim Baca, 505-270-3890 or firstname.lastname@example.org
NM Tribes and Pueblos to Address Domestic and Sexual Violence Response and Laws
During CSVANW 3rd Annual Tribal Leaders Summit
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – June 17, 2016 – Looking at ways to aid tribes and pueblos with education, training and information about the complex tribal, federal and state response and laws involving domestic violence and sexual assault on tribal lands, the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women (CSVANW) will host the 3rd Annual Tribal Leaders Summit June 21-22 at the Sandia Resort & Casino.
Released last month, the new National Institute of Justice research report on violence against Native women showed that 4 out of 5 Native women are affected by violence with 56 percent of Native women experiencing sexual violence and 55 percent of Native women experiencing domestic violence.
CSVANW Executive Director Deleana OtherBull said the Coalition hosts the summit to provide a forum for education, training and brave conversations with tribal leaders, domestic violence and sexual assault victims, advocates, tribal law enforcement, judges and other professionals in the field.
“It empowers those doing the work to learn about promising practices working in the tribal domestic and sexual violence field, and it engages tribal leaders as they further gain understanding of the challenges and complexities in the profession and the changes being made, and proposed, in regards to response and legislation,” OtherBull said.
This week, a case re-affirming the authority of tribal courts and tribal jurisdiction transpired when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal prosecutors could use tribal court domestic violence convictions to request tougher prison sentences for those repeatedly convicted of domestic violence in tribal courts. Federal courts are able to use two domestic violence tribal court convictions to trigger the Habitual Offender Felony on the third incidence of domestic violence, which can come with a prison sentence of three years, allowing tribal communities to further protect their women from violence.
Tribes may also gain further expanded jurisdiction, recently proposed by bill, S. 2785, the Tribal Youth and Community Protection Act introduced in May by Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Al Franken (D-MN), that would expand tribal jurisdiction to cover drug-related crimes, violence against children and crimes against tribal law enforcement.
Congress reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in 2013 to cover gaps in the law protecting Native American women and other victims. Under VAWA, tribes could use their sovereign power to investigate, prosecute, convict and sentence both Indians and non-Indians who assault Native women or dating partners, or violate a protection order in Indian Country if certain provisions were met, including having law-trained judges and instituting a jury pool in during trials.
Fives tribes in the nation implemented VAWA under a pilot project. Among the tribes that have adopted the enhanced sentencing authority, the implementation has varied, considering prosecution and incarceration costs, tribal traditions and cultural punishment. In New Mexico, the Pueblo of Santa Clara has worked for the past year to implement VAWA and plans to apply for a newly created federal grant to implement special jurisdiction over non-Indian offenders.
Santa Clara Pueblo Chief Judge Frank Demolli said applying VAWA not only fixes jurisdictional gaps but also protects the community.
“It also allows the Pueblo to determine what is appropriate when people come inside their boundaries,” Demolli said. “With some acts of domestic violence, there is a feeling from non-Natives that I’m free to do what I want in Indian Country. The message has to be the Pueblo will protect the women.”
Violence, including intentional injuries, homicides, and suicide, account for more than 75 percent of all deaths among Native American youth, according to the Center on Native American Youth. Native women are 2.5 times more likely to experience rape or sexual violence than other women in the nation, according to a U.S. Department of Justice report.
During the summit, a panel of tribal court chief judges and chief justices will discuss ways that tribal courts are working to improve the safety of Native women and children in their communities and how VAWA and the Tribal Law and Order Act can assist tribal leaders in policy decision-making. Other panels include a tribal domestic and sexual violence survivor panel, a Native youth panel and a tribal President and Governor panel.
For more information about the 3rd Annual Tribal Leaders Summit, Implementation, Impact and Empowerment, at the Sandia Resort & Casino, go to www.csvanw.org.
Reporters interested in covering this event will need to RSVP with Kim Baca at email@example.com. Deadline for media to RSVP is at 12 p.m. June 20.
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CSVANW in the News
Outrage and Sadness over Murder of 11 year old Ashlynne Mike – Jemez Daily Post
Violence Against Native Women – Ruidoso News
Taskforce to Combat Trafficking – Albuquerque Journal
Killing Galvanizes Community – Albuquerque Journal
Community to Gather for Ashlynne Mike – KRQE News 13
Sex Assault all too Common on Tribal Lands – Albuquerque Journal
Mural Painted in Honor of Slain Navajo Girl – KOAT Action 7 News
Hundreds Remember Ashlynne Mike at Albuquerque Vigil – KOAT Action 7 News
For Immediate Release
Contact: Deleana OtherBull, 505-243-9199 or firstname.lastname@example.org
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – May 4, 2015 – The Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women (CSVANW) joins the voices of Native communities, families and friends across New Mexico in expressing its outrage and sadness over the recent abduction and murder of 11-year-old Ashlynne Mike of the Lower Fruitland area of the Navajo Nation.
The Coalition is outraged at not only the alarming frequency and high rates of domestic and sexual violence committed against our Native children across New Mexico tribal communities, but the Coalition is saddened to hear of another tragic loss of one of our children and yet another act of violence, said Deleana OtherBull, CSVANW Executive Director.
“There has been an escalation of violence, particularly in some of the most rural parts of our tribal communities, places where we may have felt were historically safer from these kinds of tragic episodes like the abduction and death of one of our beautiful and brightest children, Ashlynne,” OtherBull said. “To keep our children safe, parents, guardians and extended family must be targeted for prevention education and outreach.”
Violence, including intentional injuries, homicides, and suicide, account for more than 75 percent of all deaths among Native American youth, according to the Center on Native American Youth. In New Mexico alone, 56% of sexual violence victims are children with the majority of these cases happening to children under the age of 12.
“These horrific acts of violence against our most vulnerable, our Native children, remind us of the enormous difficulties and challenges that our tribal communities face,” OtherBull said, adding that she agreed with Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye, who said in a recent news release that “‘We need to do everything we can to implement a system that will enable members of the Navajo Nation to more readily assist in looking for perpetrators, especially when an abduction has taken place.'”
In aiding tribal communities, the Coalition, a 20-year-old Albuquerque-based nonprofit, provides training, domestic and sexual violence case worker support, and technical assistance for tribes and law enforcement seeking help in working with tribes. CSVANW was recently in the area to aid the Shiprock Home for Women and Children, one of two domestic violence shelters that serve Navajo women and families on the entire Navajo Nation that closed recently, in fundraising.
The Coalition also points to a new tribal database, the AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program (AATTAP), www.tribaldatabase.org, launched last year that features information and resources in the areas of child protection, human trafficking, law enforcement, public safety and social services. The tribal database website offers direct access to the Tribal Database System designed for use by all federally-recognized tribes.
“CSVANW urges our communities to join us with your prayers, good thoughts and strength for Ashlynne’s family,” said OtherBull, who has been in contact with Ashlynn’s family in Eastern New Mexico and spoke directly to Ashlynne’s father. “We ask that you will stand with us as we continue to work to address violence against Native women and children and help us to provide this week for the family of Ashlynne Mike.”
CSVANW will have a community gathering and awareness donation drive at 6:30-8 p.m. May 5 at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center’s (IPCC) courtyard. CSVANW is asking for the community, both Native American and non-Native American, to join the organization in this sacred space to honor Ashlynn and bring awareness about the high levels of violence committed against Native children. Monetary donations, as well as the donation of goods, are being accepted. Items will be delivered directly to the Mike family on Friday, May 6.
CSVANW is appreciative to our community partner, IPCC, for donating their time, space and efforts to this community gathering. Revenue from IPCC’s Patio Party on May 5 will also be donated to Ashlynne’s family.
“It’s important that we show strength in the face of tragedy – especially women, who are so often the backbone to our families and culture. By gathering together, we can support one another and move toward recovery,” said Monique Fragua (Jemez), IPCC Museum Director. “We are thankful for and truly appreciate Pueblo Harvest Café’s generous contributions.”
CSVANW also thanks the Navajo Nation law enforcement, leadership and community for its time and efforts to find Ashlynn. Additionally, CSVANW extends thanks to the FBI, the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, New Mexico State Police, the U.S. Marshall’s office, and the Farmington Police Department, all of whom assisted in the investigation.
The family of Ashlynne Mike will be present at the Shiprock Marathon on May 7. CSVANW’s #iwillRUNforher Shiprock Marathon campaign will honor Ashlynn by dedicating their team run on Saturday in her honor and by wearing yellow.
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Deleana OtherBull Featured in Albuquerque Magazines
Our very own Deleana OtherBull was featured in two Albuquerque magazines.
Click on the images to read the articles.
CSVANW in the News & Our Partnerships
Advocacy in Action:
Indian Country Today Media Network:
For Immediate Release
Contact: Deleana OtherBull, 505-243-9199 or email@example.com
NM Tribes Discuss Laws Addressing Domestic Violence
During 2nd Annual Tribal Leaders Summit
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – June 17, 2015 – New Mexico tribal leaders, tribal court personnel and those who work with domestic violence and sexual assault victims in tribal communities will gather next week to discuss laws and changes in the laws affecting prosecution of its members and non-Native Americans.
The Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women (CSVANW) will host the 2nd Annual Tribal Leaders Summit, Coordination, Collaboration: Change, at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa on June 22-23.
“Some of the highest rates of domestic abuse and sexual assault in the country are happening to Native women, with most happening within tribal jurisdiction,” said Deleana OtherBull, CSVANW Executive Director. “This summit will bring federal, state and tribal representatives together to address the unique challenges they face in New Mexico.”
Forty six percent of Native American women have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by a partner in their lifetime, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study. Nearly three out of five Native American women have been assaulted by their spouses or intimate partners, according to a regional survey conducted by University of Oklahoma researchers.
Several changes to federal laws regarding tribal prosecution in domestic violence cases, such as the Tribal Law and Order Act and the Violence Against Women Act, have taken place in recent years. In March, a provision in the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) of 2013 allowing tribes to prosecute non-Native Americans if tribes adopted certain stipulations went into effect. Stipulations include having law-trained judges, access to public defenders, a public display of the tribe’s VAWA laws and recorded criminal proceedings.
Only three tribes in the U.S. have implemented these laws through a pilot project. Among the tribes that have adopted the enhanced sentencing authority, the implementation has varied, considering prosecution and incarceration costs, tribal traditions and cultural punishment, in addition to interpretation of the laws as it applies to the individual tribes. In New Mexico, the Navajo Nation is actively examining the VAWA policy changes and the cost of implementation.
During the summit, federal and state representatives will discuss exploring ways that VAWA and the Tribal Law and Order Act can assist tribal leaders in policy decision-making. A panel of tribal court chief judges and chief justices will also discuss violence in their respective communities. Additionally, the summit will include a panel of youth who will share how violence has affected their lives and their families.
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