Definition of Domestic Violence: Use power and control tactics to control another Domestic violence and emotional abuse are behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other. Partners may be married or not married; heterosexual, gay, or lesbian; living together, separated or dating.
Examples of abuse include:
Physical, Sexual, Emotional, Spiritual, Mental, Economic Coercion & Abuses
- name-calling or putdowns
- keeping a partner from contacting their family or friends
- withholding money
- stopping a partner from getting or keeping a job
- actual or threatened physical harm
- sexual assault
Violence can be criminal and includes physical assault (hitting, pushing, shoving, etc.), sexual abuse (unwanted or forced sexual activity), and stalking. Although emotional, psychological and financial abuse are not criminal behaviors, they are forms of abuse and can lead to criminal violence.
The violence takes many forms and can happen all the time or once in a while. An important step to help yourself or someone you know in preventing or stopping violence is recognizing the warning signs.
ANYONE CAN BE A VICTIM! Victims can be of any age, sex, race, culture, religion, education, employment or marital status. Although both men and women can be abused, most victims are women. Children in homes where there is domestic violence are more likely to be abused and/or neglected. Most children in these homes know about the violence. Even if a child is not physically harmed, they may have emotional and behavior problems
Sexual assault to include molestation, incest and rape are at high rates in Native communities today. There are many challenges and barriers to reporting incidents/cases in Indian country. “In July 2006, an Alaska Native woman in Fairbanks reported to the police that she had been raped by a non-Native man. She gave a description of the alleged perpetrator and city police officers told her that they were going to look for him. She waited for the police to return and when they failed to do so, she went to the emergency room for treatment. A support worker told Amnesty International that the woman had bruises all over her body and was so traumatized that she was talking very quickly. She said that, although the woman was not drunk, the Sexual Assault Response Team nevertheless "treated her like a drunk Native woman first and a rape victim second". The support worker described how the woman was given some painkillers and some money to go to a non-Native shelter, which turned her away because they also assumed that she was drunk: "This is why Native women don’t report. It’s creating a breeding ground for sexual predators."
Violence against women is characteristically under-reported. Barriers to reporting include fear of breaches in confidentiality, fear of retaliation and a lack of confidence that reports will be taken seriously and result in perpetrators being brought to justice. For Native American and Alaska Native women, historical relations with federal and state government agencies also affect the level of reporting of sexual violence. Indigenous women or women from racially or ethnically marginalized groups may fear State authority, if the police have traditionally used coercive and violent means of criminal enforcement in their communities." “ Amnesty International Report – Maze of Injustice 2006.
A person commits stalking if they intentionally or knowingly engage in a course of conduct that is directed toward another person on two or more occasions over a period of time and either: 1) Causes that person to fear for their safety or the safety of an immediate family member.
2) Causes that person to fear physical injury or death to themselves or to an immediate family member.
Documentation and reporting are vital to his type of prosecution. Victims should report every contact and keep written documentation related to phone calls, recorded phone calls, witness information for in-person contacts, retention of any mailed communications (including the envelope), and preserve emails. Stalking victims should think of their personal safety at all times.
Teen Dating Violence
How frequently does dating violence occur? It is difficult to say because different studies and surveys ask about it in different ways and get very different results. Some studies only ask about physical abuse, while others include questions about psychological and emotional abuse and sexual violence. Past estimates of dating violence among middle school and high school students range from 28% to 96%. One recent national survey found that 1 in 11 high-school students said they had been hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend in the past year. 1 in 11 students also reported that they had been forced to have sexual intercourse when they did not want to. Far greater numbers of teens (as high as 96%) report emotional and psychological abuse in their dating relationships.
Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women
Thousands of indigenous women are missing, most likely murdered and a comprehensive response is absent in most jurisdictions to address this crisis. Moving indigenous women from being invisible to authorities to being visible should be our immediate goal. Requiring responses to our murdered and missing relatives must be at the forefront of our anti -violence work. Factors, which also have a significant impact on victimization, include the poverty and socioeconomic marginalization, which many Indigenous women experience.
**More data is urgently needed: In addition to underestimating the scale of sexual violence against Indigenous women, the limited data available does not give a comprehensive picture. For example, no statistics exist specifically on sexual violence in Indian Country and available data is more likely to represent urban than rural areas. Native American activists point to the importance of understanding the continuum of violence committed against Indigenous women in order to develop a strategic response to it. There is an urgent need for the collecting of such data to inform planning and programs to end sexual violence against Indigenous women.
While the available data does not accurately portray the extent of sexual violence against Native American and Alaska Native women, it does indicate that Native American and Alaska Native women are particularly at risk of sexual violence. According to the US Department of Justice, in at least 86 per cent of reported cases of rape or sexual assault against American Indian and Alaska Native women, survivors report that the perpetrators are non-Native men. The Department’s data on sexual violence against non-Native women, in contrast, shows that for non-Indigenous victims, sexual violence is usually committed within an individual’s own race. For example, in 2004, perpetrators in 65.1 per cent of rapes of white victims were white, and 89.8 per cent of perpetrators in rapes of African American victims were African American.
Some of the data made available to Amnesty International in the three locations studied also suggests that a high number of perpetrators of sexual violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women are non-Indian. In Oklahoma, one support worker for Native American survivors of sexual violence told Amnesty International that 58 per cent of the cases she had worked on in the preceding 18 months involved non-Native perpetrators. In Anchorage, Alaska, a statistical study found that 57.7 per cent of Alaska Native victims of sexual violence reported that their attackers had been non-Native men. Amnesty International documented individual cases involving both Native and non-Native perpetrators. While overall the data available appears to indicate that a significant number of perpetrators are non-Indian, there is a lack of quantitative data on the ethnic origin or Indigenous status of perpetrators of sexual violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women. More data is urgently needed in order to establish the prevalence of violence against Indigenous women and identify appropriate culturally specific indicators, based on both individual and collective rights that can accurately and comprehensively reflect the prevalence of sexual violence against Indigenous women. Such information would also enable the impact of jurisdictional issues on the effectiveness of federal, state and tribal responses to crimes of sexual violence against Indigenous women to be evaluated and assist in identifying strategies to prevent, investigate and punish crimes of sexual violence against Indigenous women.