Month: November, 2012

FREE! Indian Country Strangulation and Suffocation Seminar - January 29-February 1, 2013 in Columbia, SC

Monday, November 26, 2012

We still have some space available. DOJ will cover costs of travel, lodging and meals. Essentially this is a free training. The attached registration form says the deadline is November 23rd, but we will extend the deadline a week. We would really like to fill the class. Thank you for your assistance in getting the word out or registering yourself to attend if appropriate.

The seminar will be held January 29-February 1, 2013, at the National Advocacy Center (NAC) in Columbia, South Carolina. It is sponsored by DOJ’s National Indian Country Training Initiative.

Course Description:

This four-day course is designed for experienced federal and tribal multi-disciplinary professionals (prosecutors, law enforcement officers, advocates, medical professionals) who work domestic violence and sexual assault cases in Indian Country.

This course will provide an in-depth examination of the mechanics of strangulation and suffocation from a medical, legal and law enforcement perspective.

The seminar is intended for personnel who serve as either trainers or expert witnesses in their jurisdiction. Those selected to attend the class will receive instruction on effective training techniques, how to develop a training curriculum, an overview of courtroom procedures, and instruction on how to use expert witnesses in court. This is a skills based course.

Participants will be required to prepare and present training on strangulation and suffocation during the class. In addition, there will be courtroom exercises focused on the introduction and use of expert witness testimony in a strangulation and/or suffocation case.

 
Leslie A. Hagen

National Indian Country Training Coordinator

DOJ/EOUSA/OLE

1620 Pendleton Street

Columbia, SC 29201

Direct 803-705-5061

BB 202-658-8490

 

 

 

Washington Steps Back From Policing Indian Lands, Even as Crime Rises

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

By TIMOTHY WILLIAMS

NY Times Published online: November 12, 2012

The federal government has cut the size of its police force in Indian country, reduced financing for law enforcement and begun fewer investigations of violent felony crime, even as rates of murder and rape there have increased to more than 20 times the national average, according to data.

Related

·         Higher Crime, Fewer Charges on Indian Land(February 21, 2012)

·         Brutal Crimes Grip an Indian Reservation(February 3, 2012)

Indian country has lost hundreds of police officers since 2000, even though the homicide rate has risen 41 percent, statistics show.

The data, much of it contained in recently released Justice Department reports, underscores a reputation for chronic lawlessness on Indian reservations, where unchecked crime has for years perplexed federal agencies, which are largely responsible for public safety on Indian lands.

As one illustration of the profound increase in violence in recent years — despite generally declining crime in much of the rest of the nation — F.B.I. crime data reports that the number of reported rapes on the Navajo reservation in the Southwest in the last several years has eclipsed those in nine of America’s 20 largest cities, even though there are only 180,000 people on the reservation.

The reservation’s 374 reported rapes in 2009, for example, outpaced even the total for Detroit, for decades among the nation’s most violent cities, which had 335 rapes that year.

President Obama has called violence on Indian lands “an affront to our shared humanity.” But according to federal figures, his administration has cut both the budget of the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs and spending on reservation law enforcement. Meanwhile, the Justice Department has opened fewer investigations of violent felonies committed in Indian country than under previous presidents, while pursuing violent crime in the rest of the nation far more aggressively than its predecessors.

From 2000 to 2010, for instance, as crime on some reservations surged by as much as 50 percent, the number of suspects on Indian lands being investigated for violent crime by United States attorneys declined by 3 percent, according to Justice Department figures.

In contrast, while crime fell 13 percent nationally during the same decade, federal prosecutions of violent crime outside Indian country increased by 29 percent.

Further, Indian country had 3,462 full-time police personnel in 2000, a number that now stands at about 3,000, according to Justice Department statistics.

During that time, homicides on Indian lands rose 41 percent to 133 in 2010 from 94 in 2000; rapes increased by nearly 55 percent, to 852 from 550; and arson and robbery rates doubled, according to the F.B.I.

The Justice Department has deployed some 37 extra F.B.I. agents and United States attorneys to Indian country in recent years.

“The attorney general has said this is a priority, and I know he is absolutely committed to the issue,” said Brendan Johnson, the United States attorney for South Dakota, who is also chairman of the agency’s Native American Issues Subcommittee.

Nonetheless, the federal government allocates far less money for public safety on Indian lands than what cities of similar size devote to fighting crime.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs, for instance, which along with the Justice Department is responsible for law enforcement for 1.6 million residents spread over 56 million acres of Indian country, distributed $322 million to tribal law enforcement programs in 2012, according to budget outlays.

But both Philadelphia, which has a population of 1.5 million and a police budget of $552 million, and Phoenix, with 1.4 million people and a $540 million police budget, spend far more on public safety despite having smaller populations and less area to patrol. (Phoenix employs 3,100 officers, while Philadelphia has about 6,400 officers.)

Fort Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona, where the number of officers has declined as violence has intensified, had 36 officers in 2000, but now has just 30 to patrol an area larger than Delaware, according to Justice Department data.

On South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (population 40,000), 58 tribal officers in 2000 patrolled 3,470 square miles — one officer per 50 square miles. By 2012, despite growth in both population and crime, the number had fallen to 49.

“We pick up a guy for some alcohol-related offense and are out of town for an hour taking them to jail, and in the meantime people are here clubbing and stabbing each other,” said Milton Bianis, a tribal officer.

F.B.I. agents have told officers on Pine Ridge that the reservation needs at least 140 officers to handle an epidemic of violence that includes 3,000 child abuse cases and more than 20,000 arrests each year — nearly one arrest for every other resident.

Lawlessness on reservations, and the inability of the federal government to reduce crime, has worn away trust there.

“I’m not going to have a bit of faith in the system unless you make it safe and the guy who did this to me is going to be behind bars for a very long time,” said Gyasi Ross, a Blackfoot Nation tribal member and lawyer, summarizing widely held views about the dangers of reporting crimes. “I need some assurances because I’m taking my life in my hands.”

Tribal officials acknowledge that crime on reservations may actually be 10 times or more higher than official rates because people seldom report violence. Ivan Posey, a member of the Eastern Shoshone Business Council on the violence-plagued Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, said too few resources — and a lack of federal interest — meant “there’s no deterrent for crime.”

“There is,” Mr. Posey said, “a lack of justice in Indian country.”

Though the federal government has given reservations more authority to prosecute crime in recent years, it has at the same time cut funding for tribal courts.

In Arizona, for instance, the Gila River Indian Community’s courts received no Bureau of Indian Affairs funds from 2008 to 2010, according to records, even though the tribe was inundated with 24,000 new criminal cases (among just 16,700 tribal members).

Tribal courts often lack money to pay per diems for jury duty, and tribes say federal funding barely covers the salaries of court clerks, much less judges. In some places, including Isleta Pueblo in New Mexico, police officers double as prosecutors.

Despite the financing gaps, grants meant to boost public safety on reservations have shrunk, including the Justice Department’sCoordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation program, which has dropped to $101 million and 200 grants this year, records show, down from $127 million for 301 grants in 2010.

And grants during the past four years from the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women, which has distributed $1.8 billion, have in many cases gone outside Indian lands. Hingham, Mass., for instance, which has a population of 22,157, has received about $1.5 million, and more than $1 million has gone to tiny East Central University in Ada, Okla.

The Emmonak Women’s Shelter, however, which serves Native Alaskans in rural Alaska, has received only $350,000, according to federal figures, and was forced to close this year because it could no longer afford electricity, even after its workers had stopped accepting pay. The shelter recently reopened using emergency federal financing and public donations.


CategoriesCurrent News

New Resource: SAFE Payment Laws Map

Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Many professionals have questions about the laws in their own state or territory, pertaining to forensic compliance and payment for sexual assault medical forensic exams. Answers can be found in a new document entitled,Summary of Laws & Guidelines: Payment of Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examinations. This document was created by AEquitas: The Prosecutors' Resource on Violence Against Women, in collaboration with EVAWI and with support provided by the U.S. Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women

You can download the whole 228-page document, which includes the laws and guidelines for each U.S. state and territory, as well as a number of charts summarizing the provisions.

For an overview, you can download the 13-page Summary of Laws and Guidelines.

Alternatively, you can click on an interactive map posted on the EVAWI website, on the Resource page in the section dedicated to providing technical assistance in the area offorensic compliance.  After you click on your own state or territory, you will see a prompt to "View Document" which will allow you to view or print.

What is Included

As summarized in the Summary of Laws and Guidelines:

Statutes, regulations, and guidelines were collected on various elements related to payment for the forensic examination, including:

    • which agency pays
    • the specific criteria for payment
    • what services are included and not included in payment schemes
    • other authorization or eligibility requirements
    • disqualifying factors
    • payment methods
    • whether the states require restitution from a guilty defendant
    • and any evidence retention laws related to [exams]

Additionally, this document and attached charts and compilation were sent out, in draft form, to all jurisdictions represented for review. We received a 100 percent response from all jurisdictions and made appropriate edits. This process revealed that practices vary greatly not only from jurisdiction to jurisdiction but also internally.

 

Resources Available

This project was undertaken at the request of EVAWI, to provide technical assistance to U.S. states and territories as they implement policies and procedures that are in compliance with the 2005 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.  For more information, please see the technical assistance section of the EVAWI website (http://www.evawintl.org/Forensic-Compliance).  Technical assistance is also available by contacting EVAWI by phone at (805) 509-684-9800 or email at info@evawintl.org.

 

We hope you find these new resources useful.  We would like to thank AEquitas staff for their diligent efforts to create this compilation, as well as OVW staff who facilitated the review by all U.S. states and territories as well as conducting an internal review as well.  We believe this process ensures that the information provided in these resources is as comprehensive, accurate, and up-to-date as possible.

 

This project was supported by Grant No. 2009-TA-AX-K003 awarded to End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI) by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice.  It was also supported by Grant No. 2009-TA-AX-K024 awarded to AEquitas:  The Prosecutors' Resource on Violence Against Women by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.  The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in these materials are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.

EVAW International

P.O. Box 33 
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509-684-9800 Phone
509-684-9801 Faxinfo@evawintl.org 
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Baltimore Harbor TEXT

April 3-5, 2013

International Conference on Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence and Stalking.  

Hilton Inner Harbor,  

Baltimore, MD 

April 2, 2013 
PRE CONFERENCE TRACK 
Forensic Clinical Response to Victims of Violence Against Women 
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Vision Statement:  
We envision a world where gender-based violence is unacceptable; where perpetrators are held accountable, and victims receive the compassion, support, and justice they deserve.

Mission Statement:  We inspire and educate those who respond to gender-based violence, equipping them with the knowledge and tools they need to support victims and hold perpetrators accountable.  We promote victim-centered, multidisciplinary collaboration, which strengthens the response of the criminal justice system, other professionals, allies, and the general public -- making communities safer.

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Joan Zorza Scholarships to Attend Our 2013 International Conference

Monday, November 12, 2012
We are extremely pleased to announce a limited number of scholarships available for our 2013 International Conference on Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence and Stalking in Baltimore, Maryland, April 3-5, 2013. Each $495 scholarship will cover the cost of the conference registration.

Our 2013 Joan Zorza scholarships are funded by donations from individuals who have been inspired by Joan's dedication and work on the behalf of the victimized. The scholarships will be awarded to professionals, particularly those in the legal profession, who are similarly working to end violence against women. They will be awarded on a competitive basis.

To apply, please complete the application form posted on our website by December 31, 2012. Late applications will not be accepted.

When you submit your application, you will receive an email message confirming receipt. If you have not received this confirmation email within 48 hours, please contact us at (509) 684-9800.

Applications will be reviewed by a multidisciplinary selection committee. All applicants will be notified of the committee's selections by January 31, 2013.

You can read more about Joan Zorza or contribute to the scholarship fund by purchasing a brick on the virtualTribute Wall page.

Please email us or call (509) 684-9800 if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

 

Joanne Archambault
Executive Director

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“Enough! Violence against women ends now”

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

JAIPUR, November 2, 2012

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

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Preparations on for “One Billion Rising” campaign against violence against women

“One Billion Rising” campaign South Asia coordinator Kamla Bhasin announcing details of the movement at Jaipur Press Club in the Pink City on Thursday.— Photo: Rohit Jain Paras
“One Billion Rising” campaign South Asia coordinator Kamla Bhasin announcing details of the movement at Jaipur Press Club in the Pink City on Thursday.— Photo: Rohit Jain Paras

Preparations have started here for the “One Billion Rising” campaign against violence perpetrated against women and girls, as part of which thousands of people will leave their daily routine behind and rise up to demand an immediate end to gender-based cruelty. The event will coincide with global observance on February 14.

South Asia coordinator for the campaign and feminist-activist Kamla Bhasin said here on Thursday that the movement will take women’s issues from the local to global scale in order to attract the attention of world leaders and policy-makers to gross injustice displayed in domestic violence, rape, discrimination and harassment.

Representatives of 150 activist groups resolved at a youth convention in Udaipur this past week to mobilise women and children for taking part in the campaign in large numbers. Women activists launching a “fortnight against violence” later this month will also issue a call to spread the movement far and wide and ensure the participation of all sections of society.

Ms. Bhasin said women will leave their homes and offices, and march and dance on streets to raise their voice “in defiance of injustice” and join the powerful act of refusal to let the violence continue. “We will join millions of women and men around the world to say: Enough! The violence ends now.”

“It is going to be one of the biggest cultural tsunamis against violence,” said Ms. Bhasin laying emphasis on the need for a momentous campaign like this in the wake of the United Nations projection that one in three women in the world is beaten or raped during her lifetime. In other words, more than one billion women living on planet are subjected to violence.

Referring to the origin of the “One Billion Rising” campaign in the number of victims, Ms. Bhasin said February 14 will turn out to be an important day when there will be a spontaneous expression of women’s desire for a just society. “It will be a decentralised movement with no branding and just one message: violence against women must end once and for all.”

Women activists Kavita Srivastava of People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Renuka Pamecha of Mahila Punarwas Samooh, Nisha Siddhu of National Federation of Indian Women and Mewa Bharati of Gharelu Mahila Kamgar Union extended unstinting support to the campaign.

Women’s groups also condemned a caste panchayat verdict delivered at Bhandarej in Dausa district requiring girls to wear scarf or not to carry mobile phones, and demanded immediate action against the so-called panchayat leaders. Ms. Srivastava said the caste panchayats were “illegal entities” and must be banned forthwith to protect women’s rights.

The activists also demanded release of a package worth Rs.10 lakh for rehabilitation of the victim of the infamous 1997 J. C. Bose Hostel rape case in Jaipur. A Sessions court here recently sentenced the offenders in the case to 10 years’ imprisonment.


  • According to United Nations, one in three women in the world is beaten/ raped during her lifetime

  • “It is going to be one of the biggest cultural tsunamis against violence”


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    Supporting Organizational Sustainability to Address Violence Against Women Institute

    Monday, November 5, 2012
    Supporting Organizational Sustainability to Address Violence Against Women  Institute
    SOS INSTITUTE
    The SOS Institute is an interactive 2.5  days training with six months follow up support on action plans to enhance organizational infrastructure and provide institutional sustainability support for community based organizations working with underrepresented and underserved populations.
    Date:                                      January 23-25, 2013
    Location:                               San Francisco, CA
    Application deadline:         November 9, 2012
    Presented by:
    U. S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women,
    in partnership with Futures Without Violence.
    As a result of the 2.5  days training participants will be better able to:
    1.    Utilize individual and organizational resiliency as a framework to build organizational sustainability.
    2.    Empower staff to participate in organizational development and sustainability.
    3.    Clarify and incorporate core values to your mission, short, and long term goals.
    4.    Resolve organizational infrastructure challenges to align with your mission and core values.
    5.    Create planning processes that connect daily workloads with long term goals.
    6.    Prepare organizational protocols for constructive communication and conflict resolution.
    7.    Initiate and engage in meaningful, reciprocal collaboration.
    8.    Promote better partnership between executive director and board of directors.
    9.    Build organizational culture that supports organizational sustainability.
    10. Create a development plan and budget for organizational sustainability.
    11. Produce an action plan to apply lessons learned and enhance your organization’s sustainability.
    Who may attend?
                           

    ·       Community-based organizations (CBOs) that work with specific underrepresented and underserved populations.  The communities may include, but not limited to:  tribal communities, LGBT communities, newly arrived communities, rural communities, and other underrepresented communities.

    ·       OVW grantees and their partners must receive prior approval from their OVW Program Specialist if they will be requesting to use their OVW travel funds to participate in this training.

    ·       Participants must come in teams of 2-3 individuals, which may include, but not limited to: executive director, board member, and program staff. This is to obtain the maximum benefit of the institute.

    How to apply:
    Organizations interested in participating will need to submit an application for this training. For details, please see attached flyer and application form. Online information:http://www.futureswithoutviolence.org/content/action_center/detail/1305
    Link to Online Application. Due to space limitations, your application is not confirmed until you receive an acceptance letter.   
    Costs:
    The education program is provided free of charge.  Please note that participants are responsible for their own meals, lodging, travel arrangements, and costs associated with attending the SOS Institute.
    We kindly request your assistance in distributing this email and brochure to other organizations in your network.
    If you have any questions, please contact Mónica Arenas at E-mail: marenas@futureswithoutviolence.org , Tel: 415-678-5519. 

    CategoriesCurrent News

    Join us for a National Organizing Call for VAWA on November 8th!

    Monday, November 5, 2012



    As our sisters and brothers,
    survivors, domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers begin the hard work of repairing the damage done by Hurricane Sandy, our hearts go out to them.

      We know that VAWA's lifesaving services are more important than ever!

    Once the election is over, we must make every effort to get our Representatives and Senators in Congress to make VAWA a priority in the lame duck session of Congress.

    Please join us at 12:00pm eastern on Thursday, November 8th  for a very important organizing call.

      Dial-in Number: 1-213-226-0400 Conference Code: 451747     

    You'll hear from national leaders who will outline major actions that everyone in the country can take to ensure VAWA gets passed by the end of the year. We will discuss a National Day of Action for VAWA to be held on Wednesday, November 14th.

    Congress has some unfinished business.

    They MUST PASS theViolence Against Women Act

    when they reconvene in November!

    Get their word on it. VAWA NOW.

     

     



    CategoriesCurrent News

    VOTING SAFETY ISSUES

    Friday, November 2, 2012
    With the upcoming 2012 national, state, and local elections, questions arise about safety considerations for domestic violence survivors when registering to vote. Guidance from the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV)
    Technical Assistance Team follows.

    Voting may pose safety and privacy concerns for victims of domestic violence. Once a voter registration application form is sent to local or state election officials, it becomes a matter of public record and can often be accessed by almost anyone. In some states, access is limited to political parties or candidates, as well as to others who meet the requirements of the state law governing its use. However, in many states, access to voter rolls is unrestricted.1

    Not surprisingly, domestic violence victims who fear being found by their abusers may not register to vote to avoid having their contact information included in public records. Likewise, domestic violence victim advocates will go to great lengths to protect the confidentiality and safety of those they serve. Given that stalking is a very common tactic of abuse, with two-thirds of female victims of stalking being stalked by intimate partners2 victims’ and advocates’ apprehension is not unfounded. Fortunately, anti-violence advocates have worked on behalf of all victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking to help ensure that options are in place to protect voters who fear for their safety.

    The NRCDV has developed this Technical Assistance Guidance to provide victims and survivors, as well as their advocates, with recommendations for protecting and enhancing victims’ safety while exercising their right to vote. This guidance may also be helpful to organizations and community groups that are mobilizing civic participation and engaging in voter registration efforts. If victims and survivors are unaware that voter registration lists are considered a public record, they can unknowingly put themselves in harm’s way. 

    Information about potential risks and safety options available to victims of domestic violence and other crimes can be proactively incorporated into voter education activities that are designed to inform the public about their democratic rights and election procedures. (read in entirety at:  http://www.vawnet.org/Assoc_Files_VAWnet/NRCDV_TAG-VoterRegistrationAug2012.pdf

    CategoriesCurrent News