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Later in Life Project/Nez Perce Tribe Women’s Outreach Program

 

The Enhanced Training and Services to End Violence Against and Abuse of Women in Later Life project was established to increase and strengthen training for police, prosecutors, and the judiciary in recognizing, investigating, and prosecuting instances of abuse, neglect, exploitation, domestic violence, and sexual assault against older individuals; provide or enhance services for older victims; create or support multidisciplinary collaborative community responses to older victims; and conduct cross trainings for victim service organizations, governmental agencies, courts, law enforcement and non-profit, nongovernmental organizations serving older victims

Department Manager Jackie McArthur
Department Director Karee Picard
Later in Life Coordinator Antoinette Picard
   
Staffing Fawn Domebo, Full Time Later in Life Advocate
  Josette Henry, Full Time Women's Outreach Advocate
   
Contact Information Later In Life Advocate:
Fawn @ (208) 621-4690      fawnd@nezperce.org
  Women's Outreach Advocate:
  Josette @ (208) 621-4797    josettev@nezperce.org
  Women's Outreach Director:
  Karee @ (208) 621-4658     kareep@nezperce.org
  Later in Life Coordinator:
  Antionette @ (208) 621-4777 antoinettep@nezperce.org
  Social Services Manager:
Jackie @ (208) 621-4655     jackiem@nezperce.org
   
Location: Warm Fires Resource Center
  101 Agency Road
  Lapwai, ID 83540

 

Overview:

The Nez Perce Tribe Women’s Outreach Program was awarded the Later in Life funding in FY2010. This project is funded through the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) is a component of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ).

Created in 1995, OVW implements the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and subsequent legislation and provides national leadership on issues of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Since its inception, OVW has supported a multifaceted approach to responding to these crimes through implementation of grant programs authorized by VAWA. By forging state, local and tribal partnerships among police, prosecutors, judges, victim advocates, health care providers, faith leaders and others, OVW grants help provide victims with the protection and services they need to pursue safe and healthy lives, while improving communities’ capacity to hold offenders accountable for their crimes.

Recognizing that individuals who are 50 years of age or older who are victims of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation, including sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, face unique barriers to receiving assistance, Congress created the Enhanced Training and Services to End Abuse in Later Life Program (Abuse in Later Life Program). Sydel Samuels, former WOP Director, acquired funding through the annual Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS) process in 2010.

The Nez Perce Tribe LILP has devised a comprehensive approach to addressing elder abuse on the Nez Perce Reservation . This project has provided training to criminal justice professionals to enhance their ability to address elder abuse, neglect and exploitation in their communities; provide cross training opportunities to professionals working with older victims; establish or support a coordinated community response to elder abuse; and provide or enhance services for victims who are 50 years of age or older.

Elder Abuse:
The Office of Violence Against Women terms “elder abuse” as any action against a person who is 50 years of age or older that constitutes the willful infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation, or cruel punishment with resulting physical harm, pain, or mental anguish, or deprivation by a person, including a caregiver, of goods or services with the intent to cause physical harm, mental anguish, or mental illness.
Elder abuse victims face unique obstacles in getting the help and services that they need. Age or disability may increase the isolation of older individuals. Victims may refrain from seeking help or calling the police due to shame or embarrassment because the abuse was committed by a family member, friend or caregiver. Victims may also be intimidated by threats of being placed in a nursing home. Abuse may be dismissed due to claims that the older person is confused or minimized by claims that the abuse was the result of caregiver stress.

Professionals may perceive Professionals may perceive a victim's injuries as arising from aging, illness, or disability instead of recognizing that the injuries may be attributed to violence in the home or other care facility. A lack of services designed to meet the needs of older victims may leave them with no community resources to rely upon for assistance. A comprehensive approach to addressing elder abuse should address these barriers and improve systemic responses to older victims

Older Victims of Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking:
While sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking affect victims in all age groups, older victims face additional challenges in accessing services to enhance their safety. Appropriate interventions may be compromised by misconceptions about older individuals. Some may think that domestic violence does not occur or lessens in later life, or that older persons are not victims of dating violence.
Myths about sexual assault coupled with a failure to see older individuals as sexual beings can hinder professionals from recognizing indicators of sexual assault when dealing with older victims. Older victims may not be believed if they report stalking, particularly if the victim has dementia or psychiatric disabilities. An appropriate response to older victims of these crimes must take into account the unique challenges they face.

Narrative & Accomplishments:

Using the results of our 2012 Needs Assessments of community and professional, we developed a comprehensive plan for implementing enhanced outreach and services for victims on the Nez Perce Reservation of elder abuse, neglect, exploitation, domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and/or stalking. The following new services and goals were identified. The project is in full implementation phase per OVW approval.

LILP Transitional Housing and Emergency Services:
The LILP provides advocacy and safety services to individuals age 50 and over; serving both female and male victims on the Nez Perce Indian Reservation. The LILP Program advocacy services are for elderly individuals in danger, providing crisis, shelter and safety services, as well as those no longer in immediate danger who still face significant challenges to remaining free of the abuse, providing self-sufficiency and legal services, transitional housing, and related assistance.

Our services emphasize elder victims’ safety and empowerment, affirming their right to make choices about the direction of their lives. Our program goals incorporate advocacy from both individual and systems’ perspectives, making sure victims’ individual voices are heard throughout the process, as well as emphasizing the responsibility of the system to ensure offender accountability and an effective response to victims.

Victim safety is a primary objective; we ensure that safety planning is done with all survivors and provide services designed to enhance both their immediate safety (crisis intervention, shelter and support) and long-term safety (career counseling, housing assistance and short-term counseling).

Client confidentiality is imperative, and services that may compromise clients’ safety will not be allowed. Our elder services will complement existing crisis and supportive services to other victims/survivors, if applicable, but will not duplicate services, as existing services have not been geared toward elder victims.

The Nez Perce Tribe Later in Life Project has responded and implemented services per the elder interview and agency needs assessment responses. The LILP also included input from the Later in Life MOU Team, which includes representatives of courts, law enforcement, adult protection, domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy agencies, health representatives, and the prosecutor’s office. Most importantly it fulfills the needs of the elders in our community themselves.

Elders are to be respected; protected; and encouraged to live the rest of their days on earth with dignity, with a feeling of being safe, safe to speak, safe to say what’s on their mind, safe to turn the TV channel in their home, safe to spend their own money, safe to tell family, caretakers and loved ones, NO. We are eager to step forward and implement our services in a culturally respectful manner.


 

 

 



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