By: Nicole Molake
Oklahoma ranks number 20 for women who have lost their lives to domestic violence. The number is even more alarming for Native American and Alaska Native women. In fact, according to the Indian Law Resource Center, more than four-out-of-five Native American and Alaska Native women will be victims of abuse within their lifetime. The numbers are just a snapshot of the staggering epidemic that has taken over the state and women.
Oklahoma City Indian Clinic (OKCIC) is making efforts to end violence against women, as well as children and men, through the Ending Violence Empowering Native Traditions program (EVENT). With this program, OKCIC is able to provide advocacy services, safety planning, assist with seeking emergency shelter services, provide education to our youth, and provide training and important lifesaving information to the community.
EVENT provides advocacy services to anyone that is in need. This can include meeting with the victim to provide support and resources, as well as family members and/or friends of someone who is currently experiencing abuse.
It is important to note that abuse knows no boundaries. It’s not always bruises and black eyes. Often the individuals are not ready to leave the relationship yet, which is okay. An individual’s lethality and risk of being killed rises once they do decide to leave. Therefore, this must be taken into consideration when providing support.
The EVENT program also offers “Clinic Culture Nights” for both patients and non-patients. During this time, participants and OKCIC staff come together to learn about various topics taking place within our community and participate in a cultural activity. These events take place every other month.
If you or someone you know is suffering from abuse by a past or current intimate partner, you are not alone and OKCIC is here to help. For more information or assistance, please call (405) 948-4900 ext. 622.