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 rape 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 4, more than 400 such stories will be displayed in downtown Tulsa.
On Saturday, April 4, FORCE and the Muscogee (Creek) National will display the Monument Quilt, a public healing space by and for survivors of rape and abuse, at the Schusterman Center at the University of Oklahoma in Tulsa, located at 4502 E. 41st St. The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The display was planned in partnership with the Family Safety Center, University of Oklahoma and Domestic Violence Intervention Services.
The Monument Quilt serves all victims of sexual and domestic violence, but this event also puts a spotlight on the incredibly high rates of sexual and domestic violence experienced by Native American women. 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.
The event at the University of Oklahoma in Tulsa is a visible representation of the strength, resilience and recovery of survivors of abuse. The Monument Quilt is a physical space that provides public recognition to survivors and reconnects them with their community. The Monument Quilt seeks to change the public perception of those who experience sexual and domestic 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.