Osage Nation Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear signed a proclamation for the Nation to recognize January as National Stalking Awareness Month.
The National Stalking Awareness Month campaign was developed by The National Center for Victims of Crimes and continues in partnership with the Office on Violence Against Women and the U.S. Department of Justice.
The signing took place on Jan. 10 when Olivia “Libbi” Gray, director of the ON Family Violence Prevention Program, approached the Office of the Chiefs regarding the proclamation in support of the Nation’s efforts to create awareness about the life-threatening dangers of stalking and services provided to help victims.
In a news release, Gray said: “Any time we can bring awareness to stalking, sexual assault, that is needed because we know that those things are happening to Native women at a higher rate. As a tribe, we need to let our people know that the Nation supports this effort.”
Standing Bear, who is a former longtime attorney, expressed his support for National Stalking Awareness Month. In a statement, Standing Bear said, “I spent many years in court rooms in Osage County every Monday morning [working] the domestic protective order docket. Many of those protective orders involve stalking. It is a real-life threat to women and sometimes to men. I can’t tell you how to avoid it but it is a problem that we need to address immediately.”
Those needing assistance can contact the Family Violence Prevention Program’s 24-hour crisis line at (866) 897-4747.
The ON Family Violence Prevention Program office can be reached at (918) 287-5422 and is located at 126 E. 6th St. in Pawhuska. This program offers several services to those needing assistance including shelter, legal services including protective orders, victim advocacy and support groups. For more information on services, visit the program website at www.osagenation-nsn.gov/what-we-do/counseling-center/domestic-violence
For more information about the campaign or to promote awareness, visit www.stalkingawarenessmonth.org