Be gentle with yourself, even the strongest sweetgrass bends in the wind-but it is still medicine.
Red Horn Woman
What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault does not derive from “passion gone wild,” as is often portrayed on television and in movies, but rather from the perpetrator’s desire for power and control. Sexual Assault is any unwanted, coerced, or forced sexual contact. Sexual assault can be accomplished by use of force, threat of force, coercion, manipulation, instilling of fear or fraud (e.g. posing as a medical doctor or spiritual healer). To be considered a sexual offense, you are not required to physically fight or resist the perpetrator.

Sexual assault can harm your body, mind, emotions and spirit.

A person that has been sexually assaulted always has the right to make their own decisions.
  • You can decide to report to the police, or not.
  • You can decide to seek a medical forensic exam, or not.
  • It is your choice!

An Advocate can help you by offering support, information and accompany you if you decide you want to make a report to the police, if you want to get a medical care and/or a forensic exam.
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What to do if you have
been sexually assaulted?

  • Take care of your safety first! Go to a safe place. If you don't feel safe alone, call someone that you trust to come and be with you.
  • Seek medical attention. Often we think that we are okay with out medical care but a trained nurse can help make sure you are well cared for and can answer any questions you might have. There could be internal injuries, a possibility of pregnancy, or venereal disease. You do NOT have to report to law enforcement if you seek medical attention.
  • Tell someone you trust. Having someone you can talk to or that can offer you support and comfort will be helpful for you.

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Sex Trafficking
American Indian reservations and Alaska Native Communities are major centers for sex trafficking (Pierce & Koepplinger). There are many social issues and conditions that perpetuate this fact.
  • The lack of housing on reservations and in urban Indian areas influence the vulnerability of Native youth to traffickers as the traffickers/pimps will provide housing in exchange for prostitution (Garden of Truth: The Prostitution and Trafficking of Native Women in Minnesota).
  • Native women are specifically targeted due to being seen as versatile: they can pass as other ethnicities: such as Hawaiian, Asian etc. (Pierce & Koepplinger).
  • “[Inter]generational trauma in combination with prior physical and/or sexual victimization can further intensify Native women’s and youth’s vulnerability to traffickers especially traffickers that portray the sex trade as a quick path to empowerment and financial independence.” (Pierce & Koepplonger, P.3).
  • Recruitment is being done at schools, parties, youth programs and at the homes of relatives (Pierce & Kopplinger). Shopping malls may also be a place where Native youth are being recruited.
  • 39% of the Native women interviewed for Garden of Truth study were prostituted when they were minors.
  • In this same study, 75% of the women engaged in prostitution for an exchange in food, shelter or drugs.
  • Native youth who are at risk/vulnerable of being recruited by pimps are: youth in desperate situations such as homelessness, extreme poverty; vulnerability due to disabilities, substance addictions, and marginalized gender identity (Pierce & Koepplinger; Garden of Truth: The Prostitution and Trafficking of Native Women in Minnesota). Because homelessness and poverty effects Native youth at a high rate, this vulnerability/risk heavily impacts them.
  • Native youth are often recruited by pimps on reservations but can and often are relocated to urban cities to be sold for sex (Pierce & Koepplinger).