After the hearing was concluded, I asked the young lady if she had been involved in the child protection system.
She said that she had, and that my work as a prosecutor had resulted in both her, and her younger brother being removed from their home, and their biological family.
There are NO federal or Native agencies that currently collect data on instances of domestic violence against Native women, let alone teens. Native victims frequently do not report domestic violence because they don’t believe help is available.
There are more than 500 federally recognized tribes, but very few shelters exist that are specifically directed to assist Native victims. There is a lack of culturally appropriate resources to address teen dating violence in Native communities, and inadequate funding to train law enforcement on appropriate responses to domestic violence on reservations.
Like many child welfare attorneys in my community, I worked with hundreds of teenagers and young adults.
In my case, many of the children I worked with were Native youth.
Teens and young adults may not understand that abuse includes insults, isolation, humiliation, coercive control and threats of suicide upon breakup.
This minimization is heavily influenced by exposure to domestic violence.
Native American populations have significantly high rates of both domestic violence and sexual assault.
“Of teenagers who are in abusive relationships, 3 percent will tell an authority figure, 6 percent will tell a family member, but 75 percent will tell a friend - that’s why we focus on kids,” former Middlesex County, Mass., District Attorney Gerry Leone tells “48 Hours”.
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) | 1-800-787-3224 [TTY] Love is Respect: 1-866-331-9474 | 1.866.331.8453 [TTY]RAINN: National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)Love is Respect provides resources for teens, parents, friends and family, peer advocates, government officials, law enforcement officials and the general public. Breakthe engages, educates, and empowers youth to build lives and communities free from domestic and dating violence.