Native American women are sexually assaulted 2.5 times as often as any other ethnic or racial group. For decades, tens of thousands of Native women have been unable to prosecute the people that assault them on tribal land because of U.S. policy. The 2013 Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act began to address this injustice for domestic violence survivors, but jurisdictional issues still prevent rape survivors from getting the justice they deserve.
The Monument Quilt is a bright, red, hand-sewn story of survival. Each 4-square-foot piece is created by a survivor of sexual assault or domestic violence. On April 2, 400 such stories will be displayed on the East Lawn of the Oklahoma State Capitol building.
FORCE and the Native Alliance Against Violence are hosting the Gathering of Voices: Addressing Sexual Assault in Indian Country on Thursday, April 2 to bring attention to the state of violence against Native women and reconnect survivors of sexual and domestic abuse to their community. The public is invited to participate at the Oklahoma State Capitol Building first-floor rotunda (2300 N. Lincoln Boulevard) for a program from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and a quilt viewing on the East Lawn from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Native American women suffer from the highest rate of sexual assault in the country, and over 80 percent of those assaults are committed by non-Natives. A staggering 39 percent of Native women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. The Native Alliance Against Violence (NAAV) is Oklahoma’s tribal domestic violence and sexual assault coalition. NAAV serves tribal programs that provide victims with the protections and services they need to lead safe and happy lives.
The Monument Quilt is a physical space that provides public recognition to survivors and reconnects them with their community and its members. The quilt seeks to change the public perception of those who experience sexual violence by telling many stories, not just one. The Quilt will forever change how our society responds to rape, shattering a culture that publicly shames survivors and instead creating one that publicly supports them. Survivors, loved ones and supporters are invited to make their own quilt square following these instructions.