(Updated x 3) Pretty Bird Woman House: Let’s Unbury some Hearts

(“We continue to believe that someone important someplace cares and will do something before our situation becomes impossible.” Fools Crow from “Fools Crow,” by Thomas E. Mails. p. 217 – promoted by winter rabbit)

Herstories on the issue of violence against women

A Cheyenne proverb states, “A nation is not conquered until the hearts of its women are on the ground. Then it is done, no matter how brave its warriors or how strong its weapons.” Our hearts are not on the ground. Our feet are. And we are moving forward.

A travesty to the true spirit of justice is taking place on the Standing Rock Reservation that covers North and South Dakota. Predominantly white male rapists are sexually assaulting American Indian women and getting away with inadequate consequences or no consequences whatsoever.

Crossposted at Native American Netroots

Show me a rapist of an American Indian woman and I’ll show you an upstanding member of society. That’s what the Major said about a man who plead guilty to raping an American Indian woman. Maybe the thieves and vandals who have caused property damage so severe that Pretty Bird Woman House had to close its doors for now are “upstanding citizens” as well.

Thieves have stolen food and a television set from Pretty Bird Woman House. The very walls were smashed through to break inside or destroy it; then, it was set on fire.

(Not Pretty Bird Woman House)
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What if this occurred in a Caucasian controlled city or county? Allow me to share a story from my personal experience.

I left a gig with horn and stand in hand; I was walking to the parking garage. I witnessed a couple fighting when I got to the elevator. “A little unusual, but none of my business,” I thought. However, next the man called his girlfriend a slut and slammed her up against the wall. It became my business. While three others were standing around, wondering if they should call 911, I said “Stop” firmly to him. Ignoring me, he became more violent; so, I commanded her to get out of the elevator.  One of the others was calling 911 at that point. She did not get out of the elevator, “My keys are in his truck.” He lowered his head and pushed his hand towards me for me to back off; he couldn’t look me in the eye. I told her to get out again. The doors closed.

I told the others with cell phones to follow me up the stairs and to be calling 911. They bailed. I went to the second floor and waited. Nothing. I didn’t know which floor they went to, “Battered wife syndrome” I thought as I went down the stairs and found a police officer on the street. I told him what happened and he went into the parking garage to investigate. That is the difference between what happens on the Standing Rock Reservation and a Caucasian controlled city or county – justice.

Source

In 1978, the Supreme Court ruled in Oliphant v. the Suquamish Indian Tribe that tribal governments have no criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians. When a crime is committed, tribal police and their non-Indian counterparts must hash out whether the suspect is Indian or not.

I have two primary reasons why I did what I did. The first one is that violence against women doesn’t happen in front of me; I won’t allow it. The second one is that that woman, whatever her name, is my cousin. She is my relative.

Here is a CHIPIN CAMPAIGN from PiledHigherandDeeper, who asked me to do this here.

Please make a donation at the CHIPIN CAMPAIGN for the Pretty Bird Woman House to help keep the hearts of the women off the ground.

Source

“I prefer to characterize rape simply as a form of torture.  Like the torturer, the rapist is motivated by the urge to dominate, humiliate, and destroy his victim.  Like a torturer, he does so by using the most intimate acts available to humans — sexual ones.”

Helen Benedict, Virgin or Vamp, 1992

[Update]


  At least $1035.03 has been raised!!!

I’m so grateful, I cannot begin to say.

Mitakuye Oyasin

[Update #2]
 

At least $1190.03 as of 11:40pm last night (October 30th), then rose to $1300 after that!!!

[Update #3]

PiledHigherandDeeper tells us the following:

Now we’re at 

$2892.

Here are examples of the continuing fucked up situation for women on the reservations.

1. I put on the blog a request for sweat suits and new underwear. Why? The hospitals that can do forensic exams require all of the women’s clothes. The shelters don’t have enough to give them. Recently a hospital discharged a woman in just her HOSPITAL GOWN and a BLANKET! WTF is that??????

2. I was emailing Georgia and she was out of the office most of the week on another rape case. The woman was very scared to testify in court, so they were worried. Not to worry, the perp didn’t show up in court. An arrest warrant is out for him.

But he’ll probably get away with this because the rape occurred on the reservation and all he had to do is step foot off of it and there’s nothing they can do.

It never ends. Lets keep on with this, this kind of shit can be fixed. We can’t fix Congress, but we CAN really help this situation a LOT!

130 comments

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  1. it falls off the list so it can get maximum time on the page.

  2. with this kind of lawlessness is that there are usually only about 2 officers patrolling a reservation the size of Connecticut at any given time. So, if there is vandalism or domestic violence it’s difficult to get help on time.

    When it’s rape, according to a recent Amnesty International report, it’s a majority of white men committing the crime against Native women. And then the problem is also that due to jurisdictional issues, and a lack of will by FBI/DOJ personnel, the men are rarely prosecuted. And then there is the problem of a lack of rape kits in hospitals. THAT one pissed me off especially. How is this allowed in this country?

    As we saw in the recent case in S.D., there are also issues of racism whereby the mayor of a town can get up in court and say that a rapist is an upstanding citizen! Due to the publicity the Amnesty report gave this issue, South Dakota’s DA didn’t relent, and he pled guilty after a hung jury.

    PBWH is only going into its 3rd year of operation. Before that there was no place for women to go on the reservation.

    I’m helping them raise money for a new building, whether it is that house across from the police station or another one. If we even get half way there then grants can cover the rest, but they seem to always require a match. It would be great to get all of the money so they can begin operation sooner than these long grant cycles.

    All the info is in the Chip In blog. I put in links to all the info you need to become informed on the issue, including an Amnesty Mag article on the Daily Kos campaign that saved it from closing its doors.

    Thanks Winter Rabbit for continuing to bring this to everyone’s attention.

    This is one thing we can do that will make a big difference in someone else’s life.

  3. that would be the match PBWH would need to start writing a grant for the rest.

  4. Nice jump from this diary. Thanks Winter Rabbit.

  5. I made a donation and sent the link to some friends of mine. We should be able to make this happen for our sisters!!

  6. You can meet Georgia and one of the members of her board of directors at an event Amnesty International is hosting at the Musuem of the American Indian on Nov. 15th.

    There will be a photo exhibit and they will be discussing the report and raising money for PBWH (and I will be adding a thermometer to the blog to show all the donations combined at the end of the week).

    You’ll need to RSVP by Nov. 1 if you want to go. You can send an email to Sara at Amnesty. Her email address is: [email protected]

  7. My Left Wing

    Very long but beautiful night last night.

  8. in the current events section now

    link

    Keep up the good work.

  9. for you, hope that helps.

      • Tigana on October 31, 2007 at 2:31 am

      This is a draft. It will get a lot more complicated.
      pbwh whitebuffalowomdraft4

  10. Thanks for putting this on the FP again

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