As April/Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) unfolds, the Alliance of Tribal Coalitions to End Violence wants to shine a light upon the 20 Tribal Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalitions across the nation. These Tribal Coalitions are providing training and technical assistance to their respective communities, amplifying the voices of survivors, and creating meaningful action to end sexual violence.

Understanding the scope and impact of sexual violence on American Indians and Alaska Natives:

56.1 percent of American Indian and Alaska Native women have experienced sexual violence- Source

Within Indigenous cultures, the concept of sexual assault extends beyond individual harm to encompass the desecration of communal and spiritual values. Sexual violence can also erode trust in interpersonal relationships, undermine cultural identity and self-worth, and perpetuate cycles of intergenerational trauma. Tribal Coalitions are working hard to address these issues and provide their service areas with valuable tools to help reclaim tribal sovereignty and continue to enhance the culturally responsive approaches to addressing sexual violence.

How Tribal Coalitions are honoring survivors this month:

  • Providing trainings for advocates and community professionals to build and strengthen skills needed to serve victims of sexual violence and increase violence prevention
  • Holding SAAM awareness/outreach ideas in their communities
  • Sharing research, statistics on sexual assault in Tribal communities, and ways to address barriers to justice
  • Providing SAAM resources
  • Traditional crafting and healing events
  • Conferences creating safe spaces
  • Wellness retreats
  • View all Tribal Coalitions and their contact information here

Call to action:

Educate Yourself: Take the time to learn about the issues surrounding sexual assault, including its prevalence, impact on survivors, and ways to prevent it. Tribal Coalitions are frequently holding training and presentations for the public.

Support Survivors: Listen to survivors with empathy and compassion, validate their experiences, and let them know they are not alone

Spread Awareness: Use your platform, whether it’s social media, your workplace, or your community, to raise awareness about sexual assault and the importance of consent, respect, and bystander intervention. Share informative posts, statistics, survivor stories, and resources.

Donating: Consider donating your time (by being a board member or volunteer) or contributing monetarily to Tribal Coalitions

Advocate for Change: Get involved in advocacy efforts aimed at improving policies and laws related to sexual assault prevention, survivor support, and perpetrator accountability. Write to lawmakers, sign petitions, and support campaigns that address these issues.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month serves as a reminder of the urgent need to address sexual violence and create a safer, more equitable world for all. Tribal Coalitions are striving to offer the best services possible to support Tribes, Tribal programs, and individuals that provide direct services to victims of domestic and sexual violence within their designated service areas. Let’s stand in solidarity with survivors, amplify their voices, and take meaningful action to prevent sexual violence in our communities and beyond. Together, we can make a difference.

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