- By Native News Online Staff
In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren. Vice President Richelle Montoya, and 25th Navajo Nation Council members on Monday, the first day of the Council Fall Session, were joined by Navajo community members and advocates for a walk from the Navajo Nation Museum to the Council Chamber in Window Rock, Arizona.
The walk was held to create awareness of the problem of domestic abuse among Navajo families.
The Office of the President and Vice President and the 25th Navajo Nation Council signed a proclamation recognizing the month of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month to help combat the violence that impacts many families and homes across the Nation.
In front of the Council Chamber, President Nygren, Vice President Montoya, Speaker Curley, Attorney General Ethel Branch, Chief Justice JoAnn Jayne, and Delegate Crotty signed the Domestic Violence Awareness Month proclamation.
“In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, our Diné culture and traditions emphasize respect and honoring one another through K’e’. All families on the nation are entitled to a safe, healthy living environment which nurtures and protects each family member’s emotional physical and emotional well-being,” President Nygren said.
Members of the Navajo Nation Police Department, tribal officials, and domestic violence resources organizations also joined the walk.
“Today, I walked because as kids, we all witnessed or experienced domestic violence in one form or another without knowing. Now, as I’ve grown older and am working for the Council, I am able to advocate and empower our people to rise and be strong again,” Delegate Yazzie said.
There are different forms of domestic violence, stated Delegate Brenda Jesus (Oak Springs, St. Michaels). Delegate Jesus reminded the gathered crowd that violence is not only physical, it can also be verbal and mental, and that all variances of violence impact a victim’s mind and spirit moving forward.
Domestic violence advocacy has been a major effort of Delegate Crotty, who currently serves in several roles advocating for domestic violence prevention and leading the Navajo Nation’s Missing and Murdered Diné Relatives Task Force.
“We need to help advocates on the ground and community members who are trying to heal themselves,” said Delegate Crotty, who also sponsored the Victims Rights Act of 2023 that was recently enacted to provide additional support and resources for victims of violence.
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