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For Native American Survivors

The following information comes from the “Native Battering Triangle.” The YWCA offers a weekly talking circle led by Native women, for Native women. Call 543.6691.

MALE PRIVILEGE

    • Treats her like a servant. Makes all the big decisions. Acts like the “king of the castle.” Defines men’s and women’s roles.

ISOLATION

      • Controls what she does, who she sees and talks to, what she reads. Limits her outside involvement. Uses jealousy to justify actions.

INTIMIDATION

      • Makes her afraid by using looks, actions, gestures. Smashes things. Destroys her property. Abuses pets. Displays weapons.

EMOTIONAL ABUSE

      • Puts her down. Makes her feel bad about herself. Calls her names. Makes her think she’s crazy. Plays mind games. Humiliates her. Makes her feel guilty.

MINIMIZE, LIE, AND BLAME

      • Makes light of the abuse and doesn’t take her concerns seriously. Says the abuse didn’t happen. Shifts responsibility for abusive behavior. Says she caused it.

USING CHILDREN

      • Makes her feel guilty about the children. Uses the children to relay messages. Uses visitation to harass her. Threatens to take away the children.

ECONOMIC ABUSE

      • Prevents her from working. Makes her ask for money. Gives her an allowance. Takes her money. Doesn’t let her know about or access family income.

COERCION AND THREATS

      • Makes and/or carries out threats to do something to hurt her. Threatens to leave her, to commit suicide, to report her to welfare. Makes her drop charges. Makes her do illegal things.

CULTURAL ABUSE

      • Competes over “Indian-ness.” Misinterprets culture to prove male superiority/female submission. Uses relatives to beat her up. Buys into “blood quantum” competitions.

RITUAL ABUSE

    • Prays against her. Defines spirituality as masculine. Stops her from practicing her ways. Uses religion as a threat: “God doesn’t allow divorce.” Says her period makes her “dirty.”

View the “Native Battering Triangle”