Wouldn’t you think these Iowa cuts just lead to more spending?; tribes want to prosecute non-Indian DV, child sex abuse; ICE ignorant of child trauma research?

Iowa county map provides links to help for people who are victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.


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.”

Murray is urging native America women to tell their stories. Here’s one that Hotakainen related:
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 the
reservation. 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.”

AN AGENCY THAT APPEARS TO NEED EDUCATION ABOUT the effects of the trauma of losing one or both parents on children’s developing brains is ICE — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. According reporter Seth Freed Wessler, who’s written a gripping series about this issue for Colorlines, Felipe Bautista Montes is “among thousands of deported parents with children in foster care. And an unknown number of these mothers and fathers in recent years have lost parental rights because courts have ruled it’s not in the best interest of their children to be placed with undocumented or deported parents. The children are instead moved into adoption with U.S.-citizen families. These court decisions rattle established legal precedent but have nonetheless gained traction.”
Wessler’s been following Montes’ case since February, when 21,000 people signed a petition to have Montes be reunited with his three sons in Mexico or the U.S. At the beginning of last week, Colorlines published a story about the day Montes was finally able to see his children for the first time in 21 months. For one hour. A court hearing that would address Montes’ parental rights scheduled for last Friday has been postponed for two weeks.
Taking this approach has set up horrendous situations, exemplified by a Missouri case. Encarnacion Bail Romero, an immigrant from Guatemala, was separated from her baby when she was detained in an immigration raid four years ago. Even though she was detained and deported by mistake, the courts put her baby with foster parents who wanted to adopt her. Romero has been fighting for four years to get custody of her child. But for the last four years, that child has known only the American parents. Last month, the courts stripped Romero of her rights to be declared her son’s mother, and allowed the American parents to adopt the child.
MEDICAL NEWS FROM MEDPAGETODAY shows that eight weeks of the meditative movement practice Qigong eases the pain of fibromyalgia; Tai chi helps temper the symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (aka emphysema); more Americans are walking now than five years ago, but they’re walking for a shorter time; kids have lower cholesterol scores now than 10-15 years ago; fewer teens are smoking — between 2000 and 2011, tobacco use among high schoolers fell from about 34% to 23%, and from 15% to 7% among middle school students.

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