Thursday, June 25, 2009

Honoring Native Women by Stopping the Violence

Honoring Native Women by Stopping the Violence
Originally printed at

According to U.S. government statistics, Native American women are 2.5 times more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted than other women in the country. On Wednesday at the Capitol, a conference was held to bring awareness to this issue.

State, tribal, and federal officials convened at the Capitol to collaborate efforts to stifle domestic and sexual violence that affects Montana’s American Indian women.

The 2009 Legislature recently adopted a joint resolution calling for the Montana Department of Justice, along with other state agencies, to act aggressively to intervene in the pattern of domestic and sexual violence towards these women.

Tribal leaders and officials from all eight tribal governments in Montana attended the conference. The keynote speaker was a woman with 27 years of experience advocating on behalf of battered women.

Keynote speaker, Eileen Hudon, asks, “Where do we go, where do we go as native women, where do we go as native men, to talk about this, where do we go to break that silence, and how do we begin that conversation in our communities?”

Other speakers included Governor Brian Schweitzer and Attorney General Steve Bullock.

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