Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $338,083)
The Wind River Inter-Tribal Council is giving formal support, structure and development of the Wind River Anti-Violence Project. The Wind River Anti-Violence Projects objective is to strengthen the Prosecution office under the Wind River Tribal Court regarding Domestic Violence. The grant would fund two positions: Domestic Violence Prosecutor and a Victims Witness Coordinator.
The Prosecution office would utilize a victim centered approach in which the investigation starts with the victim and insuring the physical and emotional safety of the victim during the prosecution phase. This would also include multidisciplinary collaborative approach which will help ensure that the victim is treated respectfully, compassionately and with dignity. The grant development is to ensure increase victim safety, offender accountability, and community accountability by helping the prosecutor’s office to aggressively prosecute domestic violence cases when the evidence supports prosecution and promoting multidisciplinary, multiagency collaborations.
The Wind River Prosecution Office is under the Wind River Tribal Court and is located on the Wind River Reservation in Central Wyoming. The poverty rate for the Wind River Reservation is 22.6% and the poverty rate for the State of Wyoming is 11.24 %. On the Wind River Reservation scarcity of jobs and lack of economic opportunity along with four to eight out of ten adults on reservations are unemployed. Many households are overcrowded and earn only social security, disability, or veteran’s income.
The Tribal members of the Wind River Reservation face barriers that may impede victims from obtaining assistance from the legal system to address domestic violence, there are numerous other barriers victims face in obtaining safety. These other barriers on the Wind River Reservation is that community members are physically isolated, posing a significant geographical barrier to victims residing on the reservation from obtaining many services that may be available to women outside the reservation. Many victims do not have the financial resources to leave the reservation and reestablish a household in another community to leave a domestic violence situation. In addition, due to limited tribal government resources, there is often a lack of “safe houses” or shelters on reservations, as well as other victim services. Also, transportation and telephone services are difficult to access. To help overcome the reluctance of victims to seek assistance, the development of the Wind River Anti-Violence Project will implement a Victims Witness Coordinator who is accessible to conduct on-reservation assistance programming that will increase culturally relevant advocacy resources for victims.
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