October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, and the Lac du Flambeau Domestic Abuse Program is encouraging people to engage in discussions about domestic violence and dating violence - and the negative, long-term impact violence has on victims. The program is hoping that one way to begin awareness to the issue is through a video project they have recently completed.
The video, “No to Domestic and Dating Violence”, was the result of a collaboration between the Domestic Abuse Program, the Benase Equay Wakaigan (Thunderbird Woman House), the Lac du Flambeau Tribal Police and the Lac du Flambeau Public School. You may view the video on the Tribe’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/ldftribe.
Staff and students participated in the project through developing themed posters and by appearing in the video. LdF Domestic Abuse Young Woman’s Advocate Bagwajikwe Madosh says domestic violence transcends all races, ages and socio-economic status. “Domestic violence is something that happens every day, in every community. It’s one of the best kept secrets in every community,” says Madosh.
In addition to the staff and students who worked on the project, Native Actress Delanna Studi also appears with students in the video. Studi, who has starred in films such as “Skins”, “Edge of America”, “The Only Good Indian” and “Timberwolf”, participated in support of the project. As an advocate for Native Youth issues, Studi has toured the country extensively to raise awareness of issues such as dating violence, racial stereotyping and equality for Native Americans in the motion picture industry. Studi is the niece of Native Actor Wes Studi, and chairs the Screen Actors Guild’s President’s National Task Force for American Indians.
Madosh believes the more people start to talk about domestic violence, the easier it is for those suffering from abuse to come forward to seek help. “Many people, especially young women, have experienced violence and aren’t even aware they were victimized,” said Madosh. “It is important that we begin the dialogue with our children and young people, to help them understand violence is not healthy,” said Madosh. “Speak up and speak out against it. Domestic violence takes many forms and it is never acceptable,” she added.
The Lac du Flambeau Domestic Abuse Program and Benase Equay Wakaigan (Thunder Bird Woman House) continue to promote healthy relationships and lifestyles. If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic abuse, dating violence, or need help leaving an abusive relationship, please call (715) 588-7660. The line and shelter are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.