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Oklahoma group combats domestic violence

With statistics showing high rates of violence against Native women, the Spirits of Hope group is working to combat domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking in Oklahoma's Indian Country.

According to the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women, Indian woman are 2.5 times more likely to be victims of domestic violence than any other race or ethnic group; 3.5 times more likely to be victims of sexual assault; and twice as likely to be stalked.

Oklahoma-specific data aren't available but Sarah Deer, an attorney who helped organize Spirits of Hope when she worked at the U.S. Office of Violence Against Women, said the numbers are comparable in the state. In September alone, Spirits of Hope processed 32 applications from battered women.

Claire Richard, an 18-year-old member of the Choctaw Nation, developed a program to encourage Native youth not to resort to domestic violence. Project Falummichechi has since expanded from 5 to 10 schools.

Get the Story:
Group fights violence against tribal women (The Oklahoman 11/14)
Teenager tackles root of violence (The Oklahoman 11/14)

Domestic Violence Bill:
S.1197: Violence Against Women Act of 2005

Relevant Links:
National Congress of American Indians -
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence -

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