Willimantic, Conn – Activist and political organizer Lauren Chief Elk came to Eastern Connecticut University on April 15 to discuss sexual and domestic violence against Native American women. “We are teaching people really shallow information when it comes to domestic violence,” said Elk. “We need to place an emphasis on violence in education – Violence101.”
Elk started the Save Wiyabi Project, an initiative that develops community-based solutions and preventative measures regarding sexual and domestic violence against Native American women, about three years ago. The Save Wiyabi Project and its intentions were displayed largely through technology and social media. The main resource is a map and database that shows areas where there are unsolved murders, solved murders, unidentified remains and several other categories. Elk explained that there are no specific numbers in terms of keeping track of race and gender. “There’s no reason not to have the information; we just don’t,” said Elk.
Elk then had her partner come up and talk about the “bystander intervention.” She said it all relates to the question, “Who is worth the intervention in the first place? What women are worth saving?”