Responding to Sexual Assault and Intimate Partner Violence for Indigenous Communities

Responding to Sexual Assault and Intimate Partner Violence for Indigenous Communities

2125 Burdett Ave, Troy, NY 12180

This training is a collaborative effort between Rensselaer County Sexual Assault Response Team, the Seven Dancers Coalition, New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault and the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence. 

From 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM

At RPI Chapel & Cultural Center

2125 Burdett Ave, Troy, NY 12180

Contact: Jennifer Clark, NYSCADV, 518-482-5465 x204,


Responding to Sexual Assault & Intimate Partner Violence for Indigenous Communities


Studies indicate that violence against women—including sexual assault and domestic abuse—is higher among Native American communities. In fact a recent study funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ,) revealed that more than four in five Native American and Alaska Native women and men have experienced violence in their lifetime, and more than one in three experienced violence in the past year. The study, part of NIJ's research program on violence against Native women, looked at how prevalent psychological aggression and physical violence by intimate partners, stalking, and sexual violence were in Indigenous communities It also examined the perpetrators' race and the impact of the violence.

In order to understand the ways intimate partner violence and sexual assault occur in indigenous communities, we must examine the history of oppression that laid the groundwork for the rise of violence against Native women. With facilitators from the Seven Dancers Coalition as our guides, we will journey through the history of Indigenous people in this land, particularly in New York, up to the present and discuss the unique needs that service providers and responders need to be aware of in order to provide culturally responsive and appropriate services and advocacy to indigenous survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence.

From Jonel Beauvais of the Seven Dancers Coalition, “We have always been on the receiving end of violence. Our truth and consideration of future generations is what will lead us to a place of understanding what happened, taking accountability and arriving at a place where vicious cycles are broken, that healing and restoration are possible.  Intergenerational trauma is alive and well in our communities but through our culture, best efforts and prayers, so is our resilience. Addressing sexual assault and all its layers in Indian Country is a task that we can not do alone, we invite you to be a part of the process in creating change, being informed and believing that we will have a better narrative to pass down to our grandchildren.”




Jonel Beauvais
Seven Dancers Coalition

Jonel Beauvais is a Wolf Clan, Mohawk. Who is the proud mother of three children and chosen auntie, sister and friend to many. She works diligently to empower and induce healing within all Native/Indigenous communities in order to prosper in the Haudenosaunee teachings of good medicine and good minds. She’s employed as a community outreach worker for the Seven Dancers Coalition, located on the U.S. portion of her home territory in Akwesasne. The Coalition seeks to educate Tribal communities and service providers through trainings and presentations on Sexual Assault, Domestic violence, Campus Safety, Teen Dating, Sex Trafficking and Stalking.

She has dedicated six years as council member and Lead Auntie for all adolescent girls entering their first year of fasting in Ohero:kon “Under the Husk”, which is the Rights of Passage for youth in Akwesasne. Through ceremony these youth commit to four years of fasting in which they attend weekly gatherings throughout the winter months where traditional/modern teachings are presented to the young fasters and their families. All with the intentions of receiving a vision, insight or guidance on the purpose of their journey into adulthood.

She is also a member to the Neh Kanikonriio Council which is a restorative Justice initiative that integrates indigenous ways of mediation to reduce incarceration and provide a more interpersonal means of healing for both parties. Ms. Beauvais is invited to various speaking engagements to share her life experiences as a native woman who has witnessed and lived the adversities of addiction, caretaking, incarceration, sexual assault, suicide and other forms of violence. Her intent is to offer support and insight for those struggling spiritually and emotionally, with hopes to revive the strong medicine she feels we all possess. Her vision is that we may attain peace within in order to restore our nurturing Indigenous communities, with the hope that our grandchildren yet to come will continue to flourish in our ways of life.

Harvey Herne (Wat hat ka ha teni ne Ion kats)
Seven Dancers Coalition

Harvey Heren is a twenty year veteran with the Partridge House working to address addiction. Harvey works with the Seven Dancers Coalition facilitating groups with native men to promote their leadership on a variety of community wellness issues for Indigenous families, including preventing domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse.




10:00 AM - 10:30 AM  Registration & Networking

10:30 AM- 12:30 PM Morning Discussion

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM  Lunch (On Own)

1:30 PM- 4:00 PM  Afternoon Discussion

4:00 PM  Adjourn




Parking: There is ample on street parking available around the venue.

Food: Food and drink will NOT be provided during this training.  Please make sure to tend to your breakfast needs before arriving and bring any drinks or snacks you might want.  Attendees will be provided a one hour lunch break, we will be ordering from local caterers for those who would like to buy lunch. The cost per person will be included in the logistics email for those attending, the estimated cost is $14 per person.

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