Thursday, October 21, 2010
The Sacred Heart Center’s mission is to eradicate violence in the community, especially within families. Today we heard that when it comes to violent crimes and sexual assault, Native American women have the highest rate of victimization from such crimes out of all the different groups in the entire country. The center runs some quality programs for prevention, education, and protection to fight against that scourge, and has been doing so for almost 30 years.
One of the staff told us about the Silent Witness program. The South Dakota coalition against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault has created silhouettes of women, children, and the occasional man who die in South Dakota as the result of domestic violence. On these wooden cutouts you can read their story, which certainly tugs at the heart. These “Silent Witnesses” speak loudly about the dangers in our community, and call forth in a loud voice for us to work together to stop violence and strengthen families.
We enjoyed lunch with all the staff. Some of the folks I’ve known for a long time – like Tina remembering her wedding 25 years ago. Other staff are new to the program, like Tammy, who comes from a social service background and will be working with the adolescents. I was heartened in hearing of all their efforts.