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About Us

Values and Statements

Domestic Violence Network is working to change the culture that leads to domestic violence through advocacy, education, and collaboration in the community at large. We cannot do this without actively acknowledging and dismantling many systems of oppression and working to end many types of violence. The following statements are rooted in our values as an organization. Among some of the things we value the most as an organization are:

  • Honoring the truth of the lived experiences of our fellow humans
  • Respecting our fellow humans
  • Actively, genuinely, and consistently working toward bettering ourselves and our programs with the goal of attaining our mission
  • Accountability
  • Diversity and inclusivity all people regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity, religion, zip code, nationality, immigration status, health, intellectual or physical ability status
  • Remaining open to receiving new knowledge, information, insights, and understanding and using it to further the mission of the organization

Land Acknowledgement Statement

The Domestic Violence Network (DVN) acknowledges the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory the Myaamia (Miami) and Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo) people on which our organization operates and serves. It is our hope that this statement encourages others to acknowledge, learn, and act for the Indigenous communities that were forced off of this land. We simply cannot do work in the anti-violence space and ignore the centuries-long violence that has occurred, and continues to occur, in these communities by colonizers and their descendants. It is largely known that indigenous communities face incredibly disproportionate levels of violence on nearly all fronts, and that violence against women in these communities is exponential and is often a precursor to going missing or death. As we work to dismantle systems of violence and oppression, we cannot continue to leave our indigenous communities behind. We created this statement as the first step to our commitment toward better serving these populations.

Solidarity with Indigenous people can look like:

  • Creating your own organizational land acknowledgment statement 
  • Donating resources to Indigenous-led organizations
  • Amplifying the Indigenous voices leading grassroots organizations and movements for change
  • Returning land
  • Encouraging and supporting policies that return sovereignty to Indigenous people

“The land that surrounds us is part of who we are; it reflects our histories.”

— Native Governance Center

Currently, the only federally recognized tribe in the state of Indiana is the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians (Michigan and Indiana), and while that acknowledgment is appreciated, this state has been home to many Indigenous tribes over time, in part due to natural migration, but often due to colonizers committing acts of genocide, ethnic cleansing, stealing land, and forcibly removing Indigenous people from their homelands.

The population of the Miami Nation is approximately 4,400, and citizens can be found living in all 50 states as well as outside the boundaries of the United States. The Tribe’s population is concentrated in northeastern Oklahoma, eastern Kansas, and northern Indiana. In the Miami language, the Miami Tribe’s name for itself is Myaamia, which means “the Downstream People.” Over time, the Myaamia people settled around the Wabash River regions in Indiana from Michigan.

The Kiikaapoi are an Algonquian-language people who likely migrated to or developed as a people in a large territory along the Wabash River in the area of modern Terre Haute, Indiana. Today, with over 1,600 enrolled members of the Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas, half still reside on the reservation assigned to them in the Treaty of 1854. Although the land size has diminished enormously since then, the people still call it home. Today, the Kickapoo is divided into four separate bands, The Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas, The Kickapoo Tribe in Oklahoma, The Texas Band of Kickapoo, and the Mexican-Kickapoos. The Kickapoo Tribe entered into 10 treaties with the United States government from 1795 to 1854 which brought devastating consequences; the treaties shifted the homelands of the Kickapoos from Illinois to Indiana, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Mexico.

Following the Treaty of Paris in 1783 between the British and the United States, the British ceded all British territories east of the Mississippi to the United States government. This put any matters concerning the Indigenous tribes under the control of the newly created United States federal government. Following the War of 1812, many tribes were forcibly removed from their homelands. During President Monroe’s term the Kickapoo signed a treaty with the U.S., which was deceitful in its language, and to this day remains a point of tension between the Kickapoo and the federal government. This document released 13 million acres of land between the Illinois and Wabash rivers and did not make the Kickapoo protected citizens of the U.S., thus disabling them from acquiring funding for land. The treaties of 1838 and 1840 for lands south of the Wabash river would essentially mark the last cessation of Indigenous lands to the United States in the state of Indiana. Around this time is also when Andrew Jackson and Congress were working to pass the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Because of these treaties and wars, most of the populations for both tribes can be found out west in the states of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Mexico.

This acknowledgment is simply an awareness and is not where the work ends, but it is a start to unlearning, discovering the truth, working on decolonizing, and beginning to heal with these native nations and the land we occupy.

Resources:

Sovereign Bodies Institute

Native Governance

Map of Native Lands

Miami Nation of Indiana

Miami Tribe of Oklahoma

Kansas Kikapoo Tribe

Kikapoo Tribe of Oklahoma

Kikapoo Tribe of Texas

American Library institute

 

Statement on Racial Justice

At DVN we continue to learn about, reflect, and act on our responsibility to address systemic racism and to promote racial justice and liberation within our work. We know and understand that the movement to end domestic violence has, for too long, centered the voices of white, heterosexual, cisgender, able-bodied women leaving so many underrepresented. This is partially why we chose to make our current community wide plan, EQUITY: listening to the truth, amplifying voices, changing systems, center some of these populations. Like domestic violence, racism (as well as most “isms”) are rooted in power and control, and that power and control will not shift until those upholding the oppressive systems, whether consciously or unconsciously, move to shift that power and control.
Through this community wide plan, we at DVN have been learning and having in-depth conversations about the ways our organization needs to further our commitment to racial justice in the work we do. We have already implemented many changes, and we have plans to continue this work. We have our community wide plan, but this call has been heightened over the past year and a half, as we realize that this community wide plan needs to be less of a highlight, and more of a lifelong commitment. Examining everything we do, say, and provide to our community with a critical lens is essential. Our hope is that by putting a focus on this work, that our staff, our board, our partners, and our community will continue to join us and hold us accountable.

“When we’re talking about diversity, it’s not a box to check. It is a reality that should be deeply felt and held and valued by all of us.” 

—Ava DuVernay

The Board of Directors and staff of Domestic Violence Network celebrates and values diversity and are committed to cultivating an organizational culture of inclusivity and belonging for all people regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity, religion, zip code, nationality, immigration status, health, intellectual or physical ability status.
We believe this commitment requires continual critical evaluation of our policies, procedures, practices, strategies, and norms to ensure that we actively work to rectify our historically exclusive foundation and advance the needs of communities that have been underrepresented. This is only achievable when the needs, voices, leadership, and experiences of traditionally underrepresented communities are included and valued. We are working toward goals in our community wide plan, but we also want to solidify that we will continually work to:

  • Ensure that our board, committees, and staff are more representative of the diverse community we serve.
  • Ensure that our board members, committee members, and staff that are part of privileged groups are committed and willing to take on the work so as to not place further burden on those board members, committee members, and staff from underrepresented communities.
  • Invest, when we can, in amplifying voices from underrepresented communities. This includes in our book clubs, at our community guest speaker trainings, at our advocates network meetings, and in our youth program.
  • Analyze and adjust our internal policies, procedures, practices, strategies and norms to ensure the work we do in the community is reflected within our own organization
  • Foster a culture of accountability where feedback is respected, heard, reflected on, and meaningful changes are made when possible to move us forward in dismantling these systems.

Our mission is to change the culture that leads to domestic violence. We often say that this means we must change the culture that leads to all violence. The systemically racist systems in our country, in our state, and in the central Indiana area that we serve must be dismantled and power must be redistributed to allow that culture to truly change. We hold ourselves to the long game of this work and doing and changing what we can within our scope of work. We want to be part of creating meaningful change that will allow all central Indiana people to thrive and have the proper systems in place for when there are challenges and needs that need to be met. We are committed to being part of the change, within ourselves, our Network, and our community.

Resources (organizations to follow):

Indy10 Black Lives Matter

Ujima: The National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community

Black Women in Charge

Indy SURJ

Silent No More

Survivors of Color

Equal Justice Initiative

Justice Teams Network