The Clinton (IA) YWCA, which helps 600 people a year who’ve been physically and/or verbally assaulted by a partner, or sexually assaulted by anyone, has been told to expect a budget cut of $256,000, according to KWQC.com reporter Lynnanne Nguyen. It’s part of $1.1 million in planned cuts to decrease the state’s 28 domestic violence and sexual assault programs to 18 by next summer. Uh….where’s the economist who can show legislators and the governor that cutting money in these programs means more spending down the line on child welfare, social services, emergency response, police, courts and prisons? The people who run the shelters aren’t going down without a fight. They’re scheduling a series of town hall meetings.
THE WRANGLING OVER THE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT continues, as Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington State has been pushing for legislators to allow tribes to prosecute perpetrators of domestic violence, according to this thorough look at the issue by Rob Hotakainen on TheNewsTribune.com (Tacoma, WA). There’s good reason for the move — “Indian women are murdered at more than 10 times the national average, and more than 1 in 3 will be raped in their lifetimes, according to the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women. That rape rate is twice as high as it is for other ethnicities, according to experts on sexual violence.”
Deborah Parker, the vice chairwoman of the Tulalip Tribes, has become the senator’s most prominent ally, recounting her sexual and physical abuse while growing up on thereservation. She doesn’t remember exactly when the abuse began, but she said she was just a toddler, the size of a “2-and-a-half-foot couch cushion,” when she was first violated by a man who came to visit her parents. She said it happened repeatedly until the summer after third grade.
Parker, a 41-year-old mother of five, said the same man – a non-Indian – abused many other young girls but was never charged. She said the abuse was never reported to police because, she said, they wouldn’t have bothered to investigate anyway.
“My story is one story, but there’s literally millions of stories like this, and even more extreme, because some are dead,” Parker said in an interview. “It’s engraved in most of our minds that at some point, your sister, your cousins or someone will be raped.”