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UPDATE: Pretty Bird Woman House WILL NOT FAIL.

There's been an effort to raise $25k by May 31st, otherwise this women's shelter serving Native Americans (who suffer soaring rates of violence and rape well-above the average American woman) in South Dakota will fail.

Pretty Bird Woman House WILL CLOSE ITS DOORS.

Why?  

Not enough people are donating.  And it doesn't take $50 donations (though those are so nice!).  There are what, like 100k members of this community?  If everyone donated a dollar - $1 - that would be four times what is needed.

I  know the goal has been reached (103%) -- I want to donate anyway!

If you prefer to donate directly (rather than Paypal), please send a check to:
Pretty Bird Woman House
P.O. Box 596
McLaughlin, SD 57642

nbier states PBWHouse is a registered 501(c)3 charity.  That means matching donations are possible. Email Georgia, the director of PBWH for details: director AT prettybirdwomanhouse.org.

UPDATE: $25,755.19

First, a hat's off to nbier and so many others who have doggedly supported this cause and brought the fundraising to where it is now -- $17,876.03.  Thanks to EVERYONE -- the financial goal has been reached:  $25,755.19.

THE FOLLOWING IS THE DIARY POSTED WHEN THE GOAL HAD NOT BEEN MET:

Sadly, that number's just risen maybe a couple hundred dollars over the past couple of days.  It's not enough -- it WON'T be enough -- to save this woman's shelter.

This community does great things.  When a collegiate student body wanted to protest the commencement speech by Cheney, the community rang up, what, $20k in donations in a handful of days?  It was something like that.

We can save this place.  We can save Pretty Bird Woman House

Please don't make me beg.

OK.  I'll happily beg.

I beg you, I beg you -- PLEASE DONATE AND SAVE PRETTY BIRD WOMAN HOUSE.

Or Pretty Bird Woman House will fail.

I want to donate right away!  Take me right to the donation page to save this women's shelter!

If you would prefer to donate directly (rather than through Paypal), please send a check to:
Pretty Bird Woman House
P.O. Box 596
McLaughlin, SD 57642

nbier states that PBWHouse is a registered 501(c)3 charity.  That means matching donations are possible.  Email Georgia Little Shield, the director of PBWH for details -- director AT prettybirdwomanhouse.org.

UPDATE: Only $3k $2k $1k $792 goal met:  $25,755.19

*******************

What is Pretty Bird Woman House?  Why should I care?

  1.  Pretty Bird Woman House is a shelter for victims of domestic violence, serving the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. It's named for Pretty Bird Woman.  Who is dead.  Who was beaten, actually.  And raped.  And whose killer and torturer has never been found, arrested or tried.  Pretty Bird Woman's situation is not unique nor even uncommon among Native American women, who suffer inflamed rates of domestic violence, sexual assault, and murder, well and above the rates of American women in general (see #2).  Pretty Bird Woman House operates on a shoestring budget, trying to get any type of help it can to these women who are often permanently cut off from justice.  It was founded by Jackie Brown Otter, Pretty Bird Woman's sister, after her kidnapping, rape, beating and murder.  
  1.  Native American women suffer astronomical rates of violence, sexual assault, injury, and death -- at a rate greater than non-Native American populations.  Amnesty International reports "Native American and Alaska Native women are more than 2.5 times more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted than women in the USA in general. A U.S. Department of Justice study on violence against women concluded that 34.1% of American Indian and Alaska Native women – or more than 1 in 3 – will be raped during their lifetime; the comparable figure for the USA as a whole is less than 1 in 5."
  1.  "Justice denied anywhere diminishes justice everywhere." -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

See?  Easy to understand.  and easy to do something about it.

For more on why the problem of rape, domestic violence, and murder are more prevalent in Native American communites, check out Amnesty International's report.

For more detailed info on Pretty Bird Woman House:

According to a recent Amnesty International report, more than one in three American Indian and Alaskan Native women will be raped or sexually assaulted in their lifetime. Far too often, perpetrators of these crimes go unpunished. Domestic violence is also a serious problem, inflicting physical and emotional damage on both women and children. Often victims have nowhere to turn due to poverty, remote geography and tangled legal jurisdictions. In these dire situations, local domestic violence advocates and women’s shelters can make dramatic differences in helping women cope with the after-effects of violence, and helping them escape from situations where further violence is likely. However, these shelters are chronically under-funded. One such shelter, Zintkala Waste Win Oti ("Pretty Bird Woman House"), has run out of funding and will be forced to close in May if new resources can’t be found to sustain it.

The shelter was founded by Jackie Brown Otter after the kidnapping, rape and murder of her sister (whose Lakota name means Pretty Bird Woman). It serves the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, which is on the border of North and South Dakota. The reservation covers over 2.3 million acres, and with a per capita income of only $8,615, it's one of the most destitute regions in the United States.

From January 2005 to August 2006, 125 domestic violence cases were filed with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Court-15 cases per month. Pretty Bird Woman House was involved with most of those cases, and without that program's help, many cases would have been ignored or withdrawn. If Pretty Bird Woman House does not receive continued funding, it is a foregone conclusion that the women and children who would have been served by the program will have to struggle along on their own. Domestic violence on the Standing Rock Reservation will not be addressed and families, who constitute the spirit of the Reservation, will be weakened and disenfranchised once again.

With adequate resources, the shelter would like to fund a director for the program, two advocates, and a children's advocate, food and supplies for the shelter. They would also fund transportation for families to obtain related services, or to relocate completely in order to escape the violence in their lives. However, in the short-term, without a small amount of funding, the shelter will not be able to keep their phone lines open through May.

You help can make all the difference in keeping Little Bird Woman House open. Your contribution will help stem the epidemic of violence against American Indian women.

If you would prefer to donate directly (rather than through Paypal), please send a check to:
Pretty Bird Woman House
P.O. Box 596
McLaughlin, SD 57642

Because people have started to respond, a woman received the help she desperately needed...

I just got off the phone with Georgia Little Shield, Director and Advocate at the Pretty Bird Woman House.  Over the weekend, the shelter received a call from a woman who needed to be evacuated.  If this had happened on Thursday, the shelter would not have been able to do much more than take the call.  But because of your efforts, Georgia was able to tell this woman: "Don't worry about the money--we have money coming.  Just get out and come in."

You did this.  You made this possible.

But there's more work to be done...

See?  Look how easy it is to be on the side of the angels.

Please donate, and as a special request, please recommend this diary

I want to donate right away!  Take me right to the donation page to save this women's shelter!

If you would prefer to donate directly (rather than through Paypal), please send a check to:
Pretty Bird Woman House
P.O. Box 596
McLaughlin, SD 57642

nbier states that PBWHouse is a registered 501(c)3 charity.  That means matching donations are possible.  Email Georgia Little Shield, the director of PBWH for details -- director AT prettybirdwomanhouse.org.

UPDATE: Only $3k $2k $1k $792 goal met: $25,755.19

Lastly, in my haste to get this diary (re)written and catch the mysterious traffic crest that might propel it to greater exposure and not be swamped by a host of just-published diaries, I neglected to give a hearty, heartfelt thanks to all of you who have gotten Pretty Bird Woman House this far.  The donated sum of $17,900 in so short of time is the mighty sound of your generosity, your alacrity to help, your grace.

Thank you so much.

Originally posted to njgoldfinch on Wed May 09, 2007 at 07:52 AM PDT.

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