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Nez Perce Tribe hosts conference to combat violence and abuse

A shirt from the Shatter the Silence of Sexual Violence with statistics about violence and sexual assault in Indian Country. Photo from Nez Perce Tribe Social Services

The Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho hosted the Shatter the Silence of Sexual Violence conference last month.

Participants received training on ways to address sexual abuse against women and against children. The focus was on prevention in hopes of reversing high rates of violence in Indian Country.

"What we're trying to get out is that it can be prevented,” child social worker Jeanette Pinkham told Public News Service. “We don't to have be the aftermath sort of program. We can also work to prevent."

Lisa Brunner, a prominent advocate and survivor from the White Earth Nation, was one of the presenters at the event. She was instrumental in securing passage of the Violence Against Women Act, the 2013 law that recognizes tribal jurisdiction over non-Indian offenders in certain situations and for certain crimes.

“It’s happening every day," Brunner told PBS Newshour of crimes against Native women and children.

The law does not recognize tribal authority over non-Indians who commit rapes. It also only covers non-Indians who live in Indian Country and have ties to the Indian community.

Get the Story:
Nez Perce Tribal Members Trained to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse (Public News Service 9/8)
Tribal Justice: Prosecuting non-Natives for sexual assault on reservations (PBS Newshour 9/5)

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