Month: May, 2013

Bullying by Amy Leeson

Friday, May 31, 2013
CategoriesArchived News, Current News

Indian Country Investigations and Prosecutions

Friday, May 31, 2013


Department of Justice Releases Report to Congress on Indian Country Investigations and Prosecutions
CategoriesCurrent News

Save the Dates!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner’s Training

June 24-28, 2013
SD Air National Guard Base, 1201 W Algonquin St., Sioux Falls, SD

The Compass Center of Sioux Falls has organized a 40-hour training for nurses to become Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE). Law enforcement, prosecutors, and sexual assault advocates may attend the first day of the training. This training is free. Registration is limited - register soon! To register mail your name, phone number and organization name to Registration deadline is June 7.

Day 1 is for Nurses, Advocates, Law Enforcement and Prosecutors, covering: Working as a Member of a SART (Sexual Assault Response Team), Role of Law Enforcement, Crisis Needs of Rape Victims, SANE Role in Evidence Collection, Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault and Local Sexual Assault Laws

Days 2, 3, 4 & 5 for Nurses only. Topics covered are: Sexual Assault Exam, STD, EC & Rx, Individual Factors, Tips on Testifying, Documentation, Genital Trauma Identification and Documentation, Case Reviews
and Job Impact/Staying Healthy.

The trainer, Jennifer Pierce-Weeks, R.N., SANE-A, SANE-P is past president of the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN), serves on the IAFN Board and is coordinator of the Forensic Nurse Examiner program at Memorial Health System in Colorado Springs. She served for 12 years as the director of the New Hampshire Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program. Ms. Pierce-Weeks has 23 years of nursing experience and is an educator and expert in the areas of child and adult sexual assault and domestic violence.

For more information about this workshop, contact the Compass Center at (605) 339-0116.

Advocacy: Battering, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues

July 10 & 11, 2013
Best Western Ramkota Hotel & Conference Center, Pierre SD

The South Dakota Coalition Ending Domestic & Sexual Violence organized this workshop addressing the dynamics and responses to battering when substance abuse and other mental health issues are involved. Advocates, law enforcement, criminal justice personnel, health professional and the public are invited to attend.
There is no registration fee. Look forward to a full workshop brochure in your snail mail and on our website ( in June.

Facilitator: Patti Bland, Director of Substance Abuse Training and Technical Assistance of the National Center on DV, Trauma and Mental Health in Chicago, IL. For the past ten years she directed the Train the Trainer Project for the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault in Juneau. Patti served as advocate and lead chemical dependency counselor at New Beginnings for Battered Women and their Children shelter in Seattle for 12 years. She developed the Domestic Violence/ Chemical Dependency Outreach Project for King County, authored the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Curriculum for Advocates & co-authored Safety & Sobriety: Real Tools You Can Use & Real Tools: Responding to Multi-Abuse.

Compass Center Hosting 2nd Annual Golf Tournament Fundraiser!

June 27 1:00 Shotgun Start
Spring Creek Country Club, Harrisburg, SD

*$55 per person includes 18 holes of golf, cart and a light dinner *

Sponsorship Opportunities:
Tournament sponsor $500: A banner listing your business displayed on the clubhouse & recognition on all promotional materials
Hole Sponsor $150: A sign listing your business as a hole sponsor &recognition on all promotional materials

For more information contact Nancy Larsen, 605-339-0116 or or Kyle Larsen,

CategoriesCurrent News

SDCEDSV Names Prosecutor of the Year

Friday, May 10, 2013

Violence Against Women Advocacy Group Names U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson
Prosecutor of the Year

The South Dakota Domestic Violence Coordinating Committee (SDVCC) has chosen Brendan Johnson as their Prosecutor of the Year. Brendan Johnson began his career prosecuting violence against women cases as a state prosecutor and has been the U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota since 2009. During this time the U.S. Attorney’s office has made human trafficking, domestic abuse and sexual violence a priority, and prosecution rates have increased.

“Brendan has demonstrated a heartfelt commitment to protecting women and holding defendants accountable,” said Brenda Hill, Native Co-Director of SD Coalition Ending Domestic & Sexual Violence, praised the selection. “He truly comprehends the entire continuum of violence against women and strongly supports our efforts to reduce domestic and sexual violence. Brendan Johnson is an excellent role model and provides remarkable leadership.”

The SDDVCC is an organization led by the South Dakota Coalition Ending Domestic & Sexual Violence and the South Dakota Network Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault. The organization includes law enforcement leaders from the state, federal, and tribal levels and is designed to protect and represent the interests of survivors of domestic and sexual assault.

Krista Heeren-Graber, Director of the SD Network Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault, also applauded the selection. “Brendan has an impressive track record in the fight against domestic violence. His grit and determination to bring these perpetrators to justice has been a turning point in the lives of several victims. Quite simply, he has given them hope,” said Heeren-Graber.

“I am extremely honored to receive this award, but want to recognize the work of my entire office and our law enforcement partners. Without them, none of this is possible,” said Johnson. “I’ve appreciated the opportunity to work with violence against women advocates and am proud of our shared accomplishments. Progress has been made, but there is more work to be done.”

Johnson is the second recipient of the committee’s award. Last year’s recipient was Michael Moore, Beadle County State’s Attorney.


CategoriesCurrent News

Together We Made This Happen

Friday, May 3, 2013

Imagine being denied emergency contraception after a sexual assault; to not even be informed about the steps you can take to prevent an unwanted pregnancy; and to later find yourself pregnant as a result of the rape. For thousands of Native American women this is reality.

However, due to the diligent, years-long efforts of Native American women's health advocates, emergency contraception (EC) is now available over-the-counter (OTC) at over 40 Indian Health Service units across the country for Native American women age 17 and older.
This is a major victory as many activists consider Native women's lack of access to EC/Plan B both a legal issue and a human rights issue because of the high incidence of rape in communities where Native women live. With sexual assault occurring in 1 out of every 3 female residents, women on reservations face the same reality women experience in war zones.
The Indigenous Women's Dialogue-Roundtable Report on the Accessibility of Plan B as an Over The Counter (OTC) Within Indian Health Service - February 2012 released by the Native American Women's Health Education Resource Center (NAWHERC) located in Lake Andes, South Dakota found that only 10 percent of IHS pharmacies made emergency contraception available over-the-counter, 37.5 percent of pharmacies only offered an alternative contraceptive that requires a prescription, and approximately 53 percent offered no form of emergency contraception at all.
As a result of the report, Native women's advocates - led by NAWHERC Executive Director Charon Asetoyer and Pamela Kingfisher - have taken it upon themselves and their sister allies to help tribal communities learn more about their right to a reproductive health service that is easily accessible to women throughout the rest of the country. They have been collaborating with tribal groups across the nation, hosting workshops and roundtables with women's shelter workers and community leaders, and calling on government officials for answers on any upcoming policies. 
A group of Native activists, led by Charon Asetoyer, Pam Kingfisher, Donna Haukaas and Kimberly Doody secured a Resolution of Support from the National Congress of American Indians. But, the past month has been a flurry of very positive actions. Working closely with us, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in February, requesting the Department of Health and Human Services provide us copies of the new emergency contraception policies.  Following this filing, we received immediate attention from the New York Times, who posted two separate news items on the issue within two days!

Asetoyer, a visionary who makes things happen in the midst of some very challenging terrain, requested that women in all Native communities should, "Share this information with other women (at the kitchen table, in the shelter, at the clinic, in a workshop, or just in passing). The women in our communities have a right to know this information, pass it on!"
The NAWHERC is in the process of completing a new "tool kit" of resources for you to use in your community. This "tool kit" will soon be available on website for you to download and print.
You can continue supporting this work for all Native women by talking to young women in your community, asking your local health care providers about the status of over-the-counter emergency contraception availability for Native women and sharing the "tool kit" posters, brochures and fliers.
Submitted by Charon Asetoyer, CEO, Native American Community Board, Lake Andes, South Dakota

CategoriesCurrent News