PBPN Tribal Victim Services Commemorates October as Domestic Violence Month

October 02, 2012 –

MAYETTA (Oct. 2):  October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and The Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation’s Tribal Victim Services (TVS) staff is planning several activities throughout the month to bring community awareness to ending violence.

National leaders gathered today in Tulsa, Okla. in observance of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  Acting Director of the Office on Violence Against Women Bea Hanson joined the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma Danny C. Williams Sr. and more than 200 tribal leaders and safety and health officials to reaffirm their shared commitment  to the cause.   Participants viewed an educational training video about how to address domestic violence now available for public use.

The TVS staff, at the community level, along with the federal and tribal officials, are striving to reduce and end violence against American and Alaska Native women  which has reached epidemic proportions. Rates of domestic violence against Native women in Indian country are now the highest in the United States.  Half of all Native American women have experienced rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, according to a recent nationwide survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This Saturday the TVS staff are holding their annual Walk a Mile In Their Mocs event that begins at 9 a.m. at Prairie Peoples Park.   A balloon release, moment of silence and community walk will be held in support of those affected by domestic violence that kicks off at 9:45 a.m.  Commemorative T-shirts and refreshments will also be available to those who register for the event.

On  Oct. 12-13, the TVS will sponsor  a 24-hour art marathon called Splatters That Matter that will be held beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Friday at the Bingo Hall (16281 Q Rd)  and ending at 4:30 p.m. the next day.  Art activities for both children and adults will be available, in addition, to listening to live music, having refreshments, and viewing art exhibits of works created through the PBPN Healing Through Arts program.

In addition, the Tribal Victim Services (TVS) staff is also promoting a local contest throughout the month where any TVS staff member caught not wearing something purple (symbol color of domestic violence awareness )  to work will receive a prize.  Members of the staff are:  Rebekah Jones, TVS Program Manager, and Victim Specialists Samantha Wahquahboshkuk, Shirley Rice, Kent Miller, Daniel Goombi and Derek Wamego.

The TVS program is housed in the Social Services Department.  The program was formerly known as the Tribal Victims Assistance Program and was originally housed in the Tribal Police Department.  Recently, the staff has merged with the Family Violence Prevention Program and they provide educational programs, a crisis hotline service, and an art studio for adults, families and children that are held in the Old Tribal Court Building and is called the healing through arts program.