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First Nations Women’s Alliance (FNWA) stands with Kateri Marion in her efforts to hold perpetrators accountable and empower other victims and survivors of sexual abuse; in this case at the hand of a trusted clergy member.
Not every victim of clergy sexual abuse will be comfortable or safe coming forward publicly. Each survivor seeks healing in her/his own way. However, Kateri’s incredibly brave public actions compel each of us to work for justice by encouraging ND legislators to loosen the statute of limitations on bringing criminal charges and civil suits against sex offenders, and maintaining pressure on the Fargo Diocese and other church bodies to release information on “credibly accused clergy” in order to encourage the victims to seek healing and to protect future potential victims.
Violating any person’s physical body is a devastating crime. Exploiting someone’s trust and violating someone’s spirit by using one’s power as a spiritual leader is reprehensible. Kateri’s sexual abuse in the confessional was acknowledged by the Church, and the priest was removed.
This is not enough, however.
There has also been a level of victim blaming in this case and victim blaming is never acceptable.
FNWA encourages everyone to find ways to support survivors and hold perpetrators accountable, whoever they may be. Resources are available. Contact FNWA at 701-662-3380, and we will help connect you with local service providers or share action opportunities. Help for victims and survivors is also available by calling toll free helplines: StrongHearts Native Helpline at 1-844-7NATIVE (1-844-762-8483); or RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) at 1-800-656-4673.
Many emotions are tearing at us as we grieve the death of our sister Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind.
We are consumed by anger, defiance, confusion, sadness, horror, and fear.
We can’t find the words for our prayers.
In the midst of this unspeakable tragedy, however, our determination to work for the end of all violence against women is fortified.
We refuse to give up. We refuse to stifle our longing for peace and justice.
May broken hearts be broken open
to all motherless babies;
to all women who are violated by perversion, greed, selfishness, and power;
to the pain of mothers, grandmothers, daughters, and all our sisters-in-love;
May the water which bore Savanna up and gave her back to us
carry us too,
giving us life.
First Nations Women’s Alliance
August 29, 2017
Mail donations should be sent to: Haisley Jo Donation Fund, U.S. Bank, 505 2nd Ave. N., Fargo, ND, 58102
If any branch is having issues locating, they can contact the Fargo branch at 701-280-3500 for the full account number. This is the only offical donation location for the baby of Savanna.