ONC and City of Bethel Proclamation on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence

Orutsararmiut Native Council and the City of Bethel have committed to work together towards ending domestic violence and sexual assault. The problem is an epidemic in our region and our community. Working together with the City of Bethel, Orutsararmiut Native Council hopes to end this problem by prioritizing it and keeping it in the forefront of our work in our community. Following is the joint proclammation:

Proclamation by the Orutsararmiut Native Council and the City Council Together Working Towards an End to Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault in the Community

WHEREAS, the ONC and City Councils are committed to the well-being, protection and safety of our community, and to fostering a society based upon respect for one another, where violence has no role;

WHEREAS, domestic violence thrives when we are silent; but if we take a stand and work together, we can make a difference in an effort to end domestic violence;

WHEREAS, this involves collaborating with numerous private and public agencies to provide services and programs, convening elected leaders and community partners to work together to keep all adults, children and our elders safe from domestic violence and sexual assault, with a goal of creating safe, violence-free lives, and heal from the trauma of abuse or sexual assault;

WHEREAS, the efforts consist of helping victims and survivors gain safety, to hold offenders accountable, to build community support to end abuse and violence, and ensure that all citizens have access to critical services;

WHEREAS, according to the 2012 Alaska Victimization Survey, conducted by Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, 50.8% of adult women in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta experience sexual violence, intimate partner violence, or both, in their lifetime;

WHEREAS, this statistic only measures the number of victims, not the number of victimizations;

WHEREAS, it is estimated that anywhere between 3.3 million and 10 million children witness domestic violence annually and this exposure can have serious negative effects on a child’s development;

WHEREAS, according to a study by the Committee on National Statistics and Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education’s (established by Congress), between one and two million Americans age 65 or older have been injured, exploited, or otherwise mistreated by someone on whom they depended for protection;

WHEREAS, every human being has the right to be safe and free from violence, in their own homes, in their relationships, and in their community;

WHEREAS, the ONC and City Councils urge all citizens to speak out against domestic violence and to support local efforts to assist victims to find the help and healing they need;

NOW, THEREFORE, we the Orutsararmiut Native Council and the Bethel City Council join together in bringing to light the viciousness and lifelong devastation caused by domestic violence and in recognizing the committed and caring individuals who defend and support innocent victims and commit to working together to help end domestic violence in the community of Bethel.

Signed-

Walter Jim, ONC Board Chair

Richard Robb, City of Bethel Mayor

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