Category: Current News

Looking Back at the First Annual Circle of Advocacy for Victims Conference

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

About 50 people came together in Rapid City on October 6, 7, and 8, 2016 to improve their advocacy skills.  

We were honored to have Tanaya Winder and the Sing Our Rivers Red earring display with us on the first day of the conference.  Learn more about the Sing Our Rivers Red project, which focuses on missing and murdered Indigenous women, here.


Next up was storytelling.

Amanda War Bonnett presented on internet safety for survivors and advocates.

On Friday Arlanna Bettelyoun and Norma Rendon presented on interactive interviewing.  We then adjourned to the Civic Center to hear Bonnie Clairmont speak on sex trafficking, which was sponsored by Wiconi Wawokiya, Inc., The Native Women's Society of the Great Plains as well as the SDCEDSV.

On Saturday we enjoyed a Domestic Violence Awareness walk.

Marlin Mousseau spoke on forming men's groups.

The conference closed with the HeSapa Wacipi grand entrance, with the Silent Witnesses, at the Civic Center in Rapid City.

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Sex Trafficking Prevention Training and Red Sand Project Awareness Event

Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Sept. 1 & 2, 2016 - Sex Trafficking Prevention Training and Red Sand Awareness Event
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Thank You Dakota for the Great Resource on Cyber Laws and Safety

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Thank you to our young friend Dakota for suggesting we include this as part of our resource.  Her and her mother messaged us:  "Hi there, How are you? daughter, Dakota, wanted to reach out to you about your web page, Your page has great information that we were able to explore and bookmark for our internet safety and bullying campaign for our community. :) During the summer, Dakota and I, like to do fun mother/daughter projects. We like to accomplish different projects that can contribute to our community. Anywho! While googling for some more resources, Dakota found this informational guide - She was thinking that it'd be a valuable resource for your page. Do you mind adding it? I know she'd be delighted to make a valuable contribution and maybe help out other kids. Looking forward to hearing back," Dakota's mom.

Here you go Dakota.  Please keep up the great work.  You are awesome.  And please continue to talk to all your friends about Cyber safety.

Cyber Laws and Safety

This article was approved by Jim Adler

Using the Internet is a common activity. If you have ever used a computer or a tablet to find information or to talk with a friend, you have used the Internet. Although the Internet can be convenient and useful, there are also some dangers lurking. You may enjoy using social media to stay connected with friends and family. However, online predators and cyberbullying are two common threats that exist for kids on the Internet. Follow your parents’ rules about Internet use and safety. Any time you feel uncomfortable about something on the Internet, tell an adult right away.

Social Media

Hanging out on social media websites can be fun. You probably enjoy chatting with friends, looking at pictures, and seeing other people’s updates. As nice as it is to connect with others online, you need to be careful how you do this. Remember, you can never take something back or erase it once it’s been on the Internet. This means that pictures you share or words you publish will stay on the Internet even if you remove them later. When you use social media websites, you need to control what others can see about you. This means that your account settings should be set to keep your profile private. Don’t allow anyone that you don’t know in person to have access to your profile on social media.

For more information go to Jim Alder & Associates

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KEVN: Human trafficking survivor shares her story ahead of Sturgis Rally

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

CISS hosts July 4th event:

Human trafficking survivor shares her story ahead of Sturgis Rally

KEVN. by Eliana Sheriff, July 4, 2016

Watch newscast on KEVN

Windie Lazenko says, "It's very real, it's very very real."
Tammie Brock says, "Human trafficking is a huge part of the motorcycle rally that nobody wants to talk about."
So, how do you spot sex trafficking?
Windie Lazenko says, "Anytime someone is traded for any kind of sexual purpose, or labor trade for any form of power, it can be money, drugs, a safe place to stay."
And, how can we end it?
Windie Lazenko says, "A lot of people are not aware that the average age of entry into prostitution in America is 12-14 years old."
Windie Lazenko founded 4her three years ago after hearing about the human trafficking surrounding North Dakota's oil boom.
She has since mentored dozens of girls to be a resource of hope, empowerment and restoration.
Windie Lazenko says, "I was trafficked at 13 years old, so now I'm using my voice to be a powerful tool to raise awareness on the issue and the reality of sex trafficking in America."
Using her own tragic experience and knowledge to make a difference.
Windie Lazenko says, "Everyday, everyday it's still a journey."
She says connecting with victims can be hard because most girls don't know the reality of their situation.
Windie Lazenko says, "This is not a rescue mission, we can't go bust down doors and rescue girls."
Which is why she says 4her focuses on outreach.
Windie Lazenko says, "We just create awareness and gain relationships with the girls and then empower them to seek healing and then watch restoration happen."
And the dark side of the Rally lurks in the shadows of seemingly legitimate job offers, luring young women into being t-shirt or bikini girls with promising pay which never comes.
Windie Lazenko says, "Girls are thrown into campsites here, I've seen it, I've lived it. I was here as a young runaway."
Tammie Brock says, "All campgrounds should be trained on the signs of human trafficking."
So her message this year is to be aware your surroundings.
Windie Lazenko says, "Calling the police and saying I think I see prostitution might not get a patrol car there really quickly but calling and saying I think I'm seeing human trafficking I can pretty much guarantee you're going to get a quicker response from law enforcement."
Tammie Brock says, "See something, say something, that's what we need to do."
Windie made a flyer which she plans on putting throughout all the bathrooms in Sturgis to make sure girls that could be victims are reached.
Carla Marshall says, "I think it's very important to get that information to them and in a place where they are going to see it, they're not going to come to a booth or a trade show where we're going to have the information for them."

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Supreme Court Case Highlights Issues Of Domestic Abuse, Right To Counsel In Indian Country

Friday, July 1, 2016

Supreme Court Case Highlights Issues Of Domestic Abuse, Right To Counsel In Indian Country

Jun 15, 2016

The U.S. Supreme Court has reinstated the conviction of a domestic abuser in Indian Country. A USD law professor says the case highlights the disparity between the right to counsel for Native and non-Native offenders. In tribal court, Native Americans aren’t guaranteed the right to an attorney, like they are in state and federal court.

In response to high rates of domestic violence against Native American women, Congress made it a federal crime to commit domestic assault within Indian Country if that person has at least two prior convictions for that offense. Michael Bryant Junior is a member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe in Montana. His attorneys argued that because his first two convictions were in tribal court, and he wasn’t represented by an attorney, they couldn’t be used make him eligible for the enhanced sentencing. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with Bryant’s attorneys, but the U.S. Supreme Court overturned that decision and reinstated the conviction. Frank Pommersheim is a law professor at USD and an appellate judge for a number of tribes. He says the case raises some questions.
“There has to be, in my opinion, a consistent approach by Congress, and by tribes themselves to treat all defendants who appear in tribal court and all defendants who appear in federal court, to make sure they are always treated the same in a constitutional sense,” Pommersheim says.
Pommersheim says that may be difficult because it requires more resources.
Norma Rendon is the Native Co-Director for the South Dakota Coalition Ending Domestic and Sexual Violence. She says she’s glad the Supreme Court reinstated Bryant’s conviction. She says Native women have a hard time finding justice.
“There has been a war against Native women and children of this country, and it exists to this day,” Rendon says. “And they say well how is it existing today? Well it’s existing through men being able to rape our women, and there’s no consequences. So what is that telling the male population of America? If you’re going to rape anybody rape an Indian woman because nobody cares, you’ll get away with it.”
Rendon says there needs to be more education, and more support from lawmakers on bills protecting women and children.

Listen to NPR interview.

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Monday, April 4, 2016
These are Federal cases only, all of which happened within the boundaries of a Indian Reservation in South Dakota. This does not reflect crimes that may have occurred at the State, City, or County levels.
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Super Bowl, largest event for Human Trafficking in America.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Super Bowl is the largest incidence of human trafficking in America.

Natalie Holbrook in Scene on Feb 2, 2016

Santa Clara, California, is going to see a huge influx of people this upcoming weekend -- along with bars, restaurants and grocery stores nationwide. There will be a rise in sales, television views and human trafficking. That's right. Human trafficking is one of many industries in America that sees a growth in customers on Superbowl Sunday.  Read more...

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South Dakota Victim Assistance Academy (SDVAA) are now being accepted!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Student applications for the first South Dakota Victim Assistance Academy (SDVAA) are now being accepted!  The SDVAA will be held at the Law Enforcement Training Center in Pierre from June 19th – 24th, 2016 and will provide a 40 hour comprehensive, academic, interdisciplinary and interactive training program for crime victim service providers, advocates, allied professionals and others who work with crime victims. These students will be entry level professionals with 0-5 years of experience in their respective field.  A comprehensive curriculum using adult learning theory will be utilized by instructors. The mission of SDVAA is to support all allied professionals to enhance the delivery of culturally relevant, quality services to victims of crime in South Dakota through collaboration, coordination and education.
Please see attached for the cover letter and student application.  The student application should be fillable, however if you have any difficulties please feel free to print it out and fill it in.  The application and all required attachments are due by March 1, 2016. There is a limit of 30 students!  Students will be notified by April 4th of their acceptance.  A schedule of the academy is attached. Students are expected to attend the entire academy.
The cost for the Academy is $225 which includes all course materials, all breakfasts, all lunches and two suppers.  Lodging will be available at no cost at the Law Enforcement Training Center in Pierre where the Academy will be held.  Limited scholarships to assist with mileage to attend the academy are available.  Please note that on the application if needed.
Please let me know if you have any questions about this exciting opportunity!

Download Application

Download Agenda

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30 Shocking Domestic Violence Statistics That Remind Us It's An Epidemic

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

30 Shocking Domestic Violence Statistics That Remind Us It's An Epidemic 

The number of American troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2012 was 6,488. The number of American women who were murdered by current or ex male partners during that time was 11,766, nearly doubling the amount of casualties lost during war.

Women are much more likely to be victims of intimate partner violence with 85 percent of domestic abuse victims being women and 15 percent men. Too many women have been held captive by domestic violence -- whether through physical abuse, financial abuse, emotional abuse or a combination of all three. Read More... 

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Bullying Awareness Guidebook

Friday, August 21, 2015
In recent years, nearly 30 percent of American schoolchildren have reported being a part of bullying, either as the bully, victim or bystander, accounting for 5.7 million children throughout the nation. While those numbers are staggering enough on their own, other reports found that 64 percent of children who were bullied did not report the abuse. Check out the Bullying Awareness Guidebook for important information on how to deal with bullying.
CategoriesArchived News, Current News
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