October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and it’s essential to recognize that while progress has been made, domestic violence still affects many people. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, an average of 20 people experience physical abuse by a partner every minute.
American Indian and Alaskan Native women experience higher rates of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking than the general population. According to the non-profit National Domestic Violence Hotline, about 35% of women in the general population experience rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner. The National Congress of American Indians published findings in a 2021 report concluding that more than half (56.1%) of Native American/Alaskan Native women experience sexual violence, more than half (55.5%) of Native American/Alaskan Native women experience physical violence by intimate partners, and almost half (48.8%) of Native American/Alaskan Native Women are stalked. The report also noted that almost two thirds (63.8%) of American Indian and Alaskan Native women experience psychological aggression.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, please know that trauma informed, culturally appropriate, holistic help is available. The Northern and Southern Offices of CILS offer confidential and free legal and advocacy services to survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Our experienced and dedicated attorneys and legal advocates provide safety planning, advocate accompaniment to court hearings, legal assistance, and limited direct representation (from the attorneys only), and referrals to other supportive services. These services are available to anyone, regardless of gender or income eligibility.
Contact the CILS Northern Office for services on a toll-free and confidential line: 1-(800) 347-2402
Contact the CILS Southern Office for services on a toll-free and confidential line: 1-(800) 743-8941
Chairman of the Board, Trustee
Chairman Romero is Chairman of the Board of Trustees for CILS and was the Tribal Chairman for the Mesa Grande Band of Mission Indians for over ten years. He is currently a member of the National Institutes of Health Tribal Advisory Committee (TAC), a forum for meetings between elected Tribal officials (or their designated representatives) and NIH officials to exchange views, share information, and seek advice concerning intergovernmental responsibilities related to the implementation and administration of NIH programs. Chairman Romero has over 11 years of experience working in tribal government. In addition to his role as Chairman of the Board, he is also chair of the Personnel Committee, Acting Chair of the Finance Committee, Executive Committee, and Legislative Committee.