What is Domestic Violence?

Is it Domestic Violence, Abuse, Conflict, Violence or Battering?

Domestic violence is any act occurring between people who live together, or have lived together, that causes harm or makes one believe the intention is to cause physical or psychological harm. Domestic violence includes beatings, pushing, hair pulling, name calling, killing pets, threats, child abuse, rape, stalking, food thrown in your face and it includes murder. In the United States, three to four women a day are murdered by an intimate partner.

Domestic violence is a crime that causes more injuries to women than muggings, rape and car accidents combined. Domestic violence crosses all social, economic and cultural lines. Half of all marriages in the U.S. experience at least one episode of violence. We don’t have very accurate statistics about domestic violence because it is difficult collecting the information. Usually, only physical violence is counted since it is most visible, but it is also under-reported. However, it is estimated that every nine seconds a woman is being battered in America. That number does not include other kinds of domestic violence. Read more...

What is Sexual Violence?

When this question is asked, people usually talk about rape as defined by the law.  That leaves out the numerous other forms of sexual violence that virtually all women experience.  Here we talk about sexual violence as defined by women. Though, sexual violence happens to men and children, the majority of victims of sexual violence are women. To undo violence against men and children, the first step is to undo violence against women. For those reasons, we talk about sexual violence against women from a woman’s perspective.

We know as women that all types of sexual violence is criminal no matter how the criminal justice system defines or responds to it. As native women we know that sexual violence is unnatural and a crime against the woman, her family and the entire community. We know that before colonization, before reservations, sexual violence was extremely rare, there were no excuses, no victim-blaming. Consequences were immediate and severe - usually death.  Read more...

What is Sex Trafficking?

Sex trafficking is a part of human trafficking. Under federal and state law human trafficking includes recruiting, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining of a person for through the use of force, fraud of coercion for the purpose of involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bond, or slavery.  Trafficking occurs in labor exploitation – often in restaurant work, sweatshop factory work or migrant agricultural work.  It is referred to as a modern day form of slavery.

Sex trafficked victims may be forced through fraud, threats, beatings, physical and psychological torture, or addictions to engage in prostitution, pornography and exotic dancing. Read more...