FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Women of Nations Announces Fall Feast
Women of Nations
PO Box 7125
St. Paul, MN 55107
Contact: Kelly Marie Prosen, Director of Development & Community Outreach
St. Paul, MN July 10th, 2014—Domestic abuse impacts one in three Minnesota women by the age of forty. Victims of domestic abuse represent women from across socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. Women of Nations, the third largest domestic violence shelter in Minnesota, provides shelter and advocacy to women and children fleeing domestic violence and education to our community.
On August 12th, 2013 Women of Nations will hold its annual Fall Feast. Incorporating traditional food and music, Women of Nations will honor those who have passed as a result of domestic violence and honor those who have survived. Please join us at the Little Earth Gymnasium (2501 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN) from 5:00-7:00pm.
RSVP no later than August 4th, 2014 to Kelly Marie Prosen (firstname.lastname@example.org, 651-251-1621).
About Women of Nations
Beginning in 1982, WON served Native American women victimized by domestic violence through assisting them in obtaining Orders for Protection and advocating on their behalf with law enforcement, judicial and social service systems, and other entities as needed. In 2014, Women of Nations provides supportive services including crisis intervention, advocacy, and shelter for Native American and other battered women and educates the public on domestic violence issues.
One June 15th, 2014, Women of Nations kicked off its inaugural 5K, Conquer the Crossroads with 50 participants in St. Paul’s Battle Creek Park.
Last year in Minnesota 37 women were murdered by an intimate partner, nearly all of whom reported experiencing domestic violence prior to their murders. Domestic violence affects one in three women in Minnesota, and follows a predictable, insidious, and deadly pattern.
For over 30 years, Women of Nations has helped women and children break this pattern by escaping violent homes and building new, hope-filled lives. Through our Eagles’ Nest Shelter, our 24 hour crisis line, and our community advocacy programs we serve over 1,000 women and children annually.
Conquer the Crossroads is an event that celebrates the strength of all women and helps us support women who are leaving abusive relationships.
We’d like to say thank you to all our participants and volunteers and we look forward to seeing you next year.
Domestic violence impacts Native American women in complex and subtle ways.
Among those ways are increased rates of stalking against Native American Women. According to the Department of Justice, Native American women experience stalking at higher rates than women of other ethnic backgrounds. Stalking is a particularly insidious form of intimidation—it prevents women who have left abusive relationships from feeling safe in their homes, places of employment, or her house of worship.
With increased use of smartphones and their GPS , stalking has become easier than ever. The ability to stalk a partner is just an app download away. Senator Al Franken has currently purposed legislation that would ensure the illegality of stalking apps. You can hear him talking to Morning Edition’s Cathy Wurzer about the purposed legislation here.
Is anyone else grateful to be outside these days?
Here at Women of Nations we’ve started a lunchtime 5K club. Once a week we get together and run three miles over our lunch break. It’s been an incredible way to get to know one another outside of the office. It’s also a nice way to break up the day, gives us some space to problem solve creatively, and helps us manage the stress of the work we do.
We’re looking forward to seeing you all at our first annual Conquer the Crossroads 5K on June 15th in Battle Creek Park. A trail run/walk open to all ages, Conquer the Crossroads will raise funds for Women of Nations and help us raise awareness surrounding domestic violence.
One of the more challenging parts of working in a domestic violence is the regularity with which you hear the same kinds of stories. While our clients all come from different backgrounds and have different life stories, the details of their abuse are (to those of us who have worked in this field for awhile) depressingly similar. Among the most reliable tactics an abuser can use to keep victims feeling helpless is isolating them from their families and friends. Relationships are powerful, and isolating a woman can keep her from realizing her most intimate relationship is abusive.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the power of relationships lately. Hanging throughout the Eagles’ Nest Shelter we have a Lakota saying: “Mitakuye Oyasin .” It means “We Are All Related.” After sitting through a particularly difficult conversation with one of our clients, I was walking down the hallway and ran into one of my coworkers. We stopped for a moment and caught up with one another. Frustrated and angry, I pointed to one of the “Mitakuye Oyasin” posters and said “I think the only way we’re all related is in our ability to be terrible to one another.”
She listened quietly while I fumed for a few more minutes. “I’d never thought about it like that.” She responded when my anger had run its course.
“Really.” She paused. “I always thought of it more as we’re all related—defined, really—not by the terrible things that have happened to us, but by the ways respond to them. She shrugged. “It helps me, at least.”
She’s right, of course. Any number of those of us who work here for Women of Nations started working to end domestic violence because of a personal connection to it. We know women and children who were impacted by violent relationships. But instead of allowing those relationships to divide us from our community and instead of letting them define us, we’ve chosen to help other women and children escape violence. We see one another not as strangers, but as members of our own families.