Tracking & Monitoring: Building a Coordinated Community Response in Native Communities

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Building a Coordinated Community Response in Native Communities

This manual was created to specifically outline the process of building a Coordinated Community Response (CCR) in Native communities. A CCR, simply stated, is a monitoring and tracking system that establishes women’s safety by focusing on batterers and their activity. This is done through a multi-agency collaboration with individuals dedicated to developing a response to domestic violence by implementing policies and practices to ensure batterer accountability. Each agency develops a role within this collaboration, ensuring a consistent response from law enforcement, prosecutors, judges and probation officers.

The many complex jurisdictional and legal issues that exist in Indian country make it difficult to pose a single organizing model that is relevant to all Native communities. This manual separates the creation of building a Coordinated Community Response into a framework for general use, suggesting ways to customize this practice to suit the needs of diverse communities. Each process is thoroughly explained and examples of programs that have created innovative strategies to suit the individual dynamics of their given community are provided. This manual also functions as a resource for revisiting the intent of your current coordinated community response. Change is inevitable; a CCR must maintain a certain amount of flexibility in order to accommodate changes in personnel and institutions as well as changes in the community and resources. A sustained, effective Coordinated Community Response must include examination, reflection and evaluation; these are key elements in measuring program success and identifying current trends. Additionally, program re-evaluation and review helps communities achieve the end goal of batterer accountability and woman safety. This manual is not intended to be a step-by-step guide to establishing a CCR, but rather a resource that provides tools to more fully comprehend the concept, the questions to be asked and the relationships that must be established. Ultimately, a Coordinated Community Response must be tailored to fit the needs of the community it is serving; otherwise, it will fail in its purpose of holding offenders accountable and keeping women safe.

Philosophy

Domestic violence is deeply rooted in society on several levels. First, we must recognize that domestic violence is gender specific; statistics reveal that the majority of domestic violence cases involve male batterers and female victims.1 Domestic violence in our society is predominately violence against women; this must be acknowledged and addressed in establishing an effective Coordinated Community Response.

Violence against women is a manifestation of sexism. It is not an individual pathology; it is a symptom of a society structured to maintain the privilege of certain people. This is further complicated in Native communities where the experience has been not only sexism, but racism and the erosion of sovereignty. Forced removal from ancestral lands, forced assimilation and the attempted eradication of traditional ways has a direct link to the quality of life Native Americans experience today, especially Native women.

Historical Perspective

Violence against women is not traditional in Native communities; it is a product of colonization. Many Native communities trace the onset of violence against women—domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking—to the onset of European contact, oftentimes within one generation.held a respected place in Native cultures, honored for their connection with the Earth, their ability to give life, to nurture, to lead, and for their contributions to the survival of the tribe. To harm a woman was to harm the community. Such behavior was unthinkable; if it occurred, it was dealt with strongly, often by banishment.2

 
 

Working to End Violence Against Native American Women

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