#NotInvisible Campaign Sheds Light On Violence Against Native American Women

Bismarck - Across the country, 84 percent of Native American women experience some kind of violence in their lifetime.

A social media campaign, hash tag "Not Invisible," is shedding light on the challenges Native American women still face.

It's not just about the picture or the  words on a page.

Not Invisible is a movement this woman says is generations in the making.

"This change has taken many, many women like Savanna have lost their lives and many women have suffered at the hands of domestic violence and now, finally, today, after all of this, we are finally starting to see a change," Amber Warman, Domestic Violence Advocate, UTTC College says.

Not Invisible, a social media campaign, created by North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, raises awareness about the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women.

With celebrities, politicians, and people across the country showing their support for Native American women.

"Native Americans have been oppressed for a long time and in today's time I could see not just in North Dakota, across the nation, that Native Americans are rising up and are finding their voices," Lorraine Davis, executive director for the Native American Development Center says.

And lending their voices to injustices in their own communities.

According to the National Crime Information Center, on some reservations, Native American women are murdered at 10 times the national average.

In North Dakota, in 2016, alone, 125 Native American women were reported missing.

And online campaigns are just one of the ways, Davis says, we can educate others about Native American issues.

Davis, a domestic abuse survivor herself says, shedding light on violence is the only way to make change happen.

Davis says it goes beyond the campaign, and the voices standing up, and standing out, can no longer be silent.

"To me, that's finding your voice, it's really about taking the courage to step out and say this is unacceptable," Davis says.

"In our generation, today, we are finally starting to heal and getting a better grasp on what's happened to our people and how we can heal from that," Warman says.

And give a voice to those who for so long, didn't feel heard.

Sen. Heitkamp introduced Savanna's Act in October with bipartisan support in the U.S. Senate.

The Act already received a hearing in the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and on Wednesday, companion legislation was introduced in the house.


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