Virtual Conversation with the Field: Revisiting Battered Women: Issues of Public Policy


Overview: Over 43 years ago in response to women’s grassroots organizing against domestic and sexual violence, including femicide, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights sponsored a consultation Jan. 30-31, 1978, titled Battered Women: Issues of Public Policy. Native and non-Native battered women and their advocates and allies had been organizing at the grassroots level locally for social change creating help and support for each other, including through shelters and coalitions. The Emmonak Women’s Shelter and White Buffalo Calf Women’s Society were 2 such Native shelters organized by Yup’ik and Lakota women in the late 70s. The Commission issued a report stating the following background for the Consultation:

“The objectives of that consultation were: to identify sound, existing research data, as well as research gaps, and consequently, to consider research strategies; to identify necessary State legal and law enforcement reform; to identify needed short- and long-term support services for battered women; to identify, in all of the above, the appropriate Federal role; to facilitate communication among researchers, activitists (sic), policymakers, and others; and to inform the public.  Substantial issues of public policy arise in considering the development of programs to aid the battered woman and to eliminate domestic violence. They include: the appropriate research to be undertaken or supported by government; the substantive revision of State civil and criminal statutes which concern domestic violence; the institution of effective police training programs; improvement in the procedures employed by police, prosecutors, and the courts for handling domestic violence cases; the form and level of support for shelters and other organizations that serve domestic violence victims; and to ensure that programs which provide housing, social services, health services, income maintenance, and legal assistance meet the needs of individual victims. Thus, the consultation was intended both to define the problems and to address potential solutions, including the need for Federal legislation.”

NIWRC will facilitate this Conversation to hear from Native women survivors of domestic and sexual violence and their advocates about what women need in the short and long term, and how can our grassroots organizing movement continue to change the culture of and prevent domestic violence.

Details: This will be a 1.5-hour interactive conversation on a Zoom meeting platform. Registered participants will be provided questions in advance to help start our conversation. Registered participants should expect to actively engage and share their experiences in the discussion. Using the registration link below, you can also choose to register for the September 29th Conversation with the Field: Developing Advocacy Responses to MMIW.