27 July 2007

i received this letter from louisa of the alaska native women's coalition against domestic violence...

it's usually a cold day in hell before i simply pass on an appeal i receive but there's something very inspirational in hearing from a survivor of rape who has embraced her personal agency and acts as an advocate on behalf of the community of which she is a part of the fabric...

just read please and act if so choose...
peace out <3...........................................................

My name is Louisa Kakianaaq Riley. Twelve years ago, I was raped by an acquaintance in Fairbanks, Alaska. I reported the crime immediately to local police and had a rape exam, but despite all the strong physical evidence I provided, they never pursued my case because they were unable to gain an admission of guilt from my attacker.

Little has changed since then for too many Native American and Alaskan Native women. So many Indigenous women like me continue to suffer a private nightmare of abuse and rape while our attackers walk free. You can help change this situation by making an emergency gift now.

Today, I am an acting Board member for Alaska Native Women's Coalition Against Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault and a Board member for Arctic Women in Crisis in Barrow, Alaska - the only shelter of its kind within 500 miles. We face a severe shortage of sexual assault nurse examiners and women's health clinics, as well as trained police officers. Most of the frontline responders are overworked, burned out, and usually not accustomed to our physical environment or sensitive to the Indigenous culture.
But with Amnesty International's help - and yours - we're working to build a stronger support network for Indigenous women, including such basics as free transportation and free forensic medical exams for survivors of sexual assault and rape. We are also working with Amnesty to unravel the maze of tribal, state, and federal laws that so often allows perpetrators to rape with impunity.
By supporting Amnesty's Stop Violence Against Women campaign, you'll be helping provide a lifeline of resources and hope to Indigenous women with nowhere else to turn.

For me, the feelings of frustration and helplessness will never completely disappear. But as I tell so many of the young women I counsel, we have to release those demons and share our stories so we can heal and go on. For my own grown children and future generations of Native American women, it is my wish that they live violence-free.

Your generous gift today can help provide that hope and let the women in my town and others across America know that something is finally being done to deal with sexual violence that has ruined so many lives.


Louisa Kakianaaq Riley

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