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Speak Out Against Violence Targeted at Native American Women
  • Petitioned Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and all Indian tribes across the Nation

This petition was delivered to:

Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and all Indian tribes across the Nation

Speak Out Against Violence Targeted at Native American Women

    1. Petition by

      Ashley Haywood

One in three Native American women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime.

I am one of them. My name is Ashley Haywood. I was born and raised in Lumberton, North Carolina and am a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. In 2008, I was crowned Miss Lumbee, and I obtained a job with the Tribe as a Housing Specialist shortly after that.

While employed by the Tribe, my boss, Reverend Jimmy Hunt, subjected me to sexual harassment and assault. He told me that I would lose my job if I didn’t submit to his advances. I was trapped between two choices: feeding my family and unemployment. I filed a grievance about the harassment with the Tribe, which prompted an investigation. Reverend Hunt left his position on his own before the investigation’s conclusion. But the Tribe later rehired him.

Recently, the Tribe fired me for filing my second grievance when it re-hired Reverend Hunt. Upon filing my grievance, I was suspended, and then terminated. I was retaliated against and terminated from a job that I was very passionate about because I stood up for my right to voice my opinion and protect myself and others from abuse.

Those acquainted with me witnessed the love that I had for my job. It allowed me to continue the types of charitable efforts I advanced as Miss Lumbee. I have always advocated for women and children, which is evidenced by programs that I initiated in my community. For example, I helped many single mothers obtain GEDs and attend college courses, planned a "Back to Bash" that raised over $2,000 for school supplies and book bags, and arranged for a medical bus to offer health screenings and free vaccinations. I also coordinated with a professional hairstylists that provided free haircuts to the children.

Native American women experience the highest rate of violence of any group in the United States. Researchers estimate that this number is actually much higher than has been captured by statistics--the Department of Justice estimates that over 70% of sexual assaults are never reported. One in every three Native American women are abused daily. The primary intent of Native American Women Against Abuse is to firmly address and promote the elimination of violence and other abuses against Native American women within our families and communities.

Please Support me, Ashley Haywood, and Native American women everywhere by taking action today!

1) Please "Like" our Facebook page and show your support for Ashley.

2) Please sign our petition in support of Ashley Haywood.

3) Also, If anyone has information or knowledge regarding sexual harassment or inappropriate conduct by Reverend Jimmy Hunt, please contact Van Kampen Law, PLLC at 704 247-3245.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 50 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Alexis Luttrull NASHVILLE, IN
      • about 1 year ago

      Stop the war against women!

    • Anita Kanitz STUTTGART, GERMANY
      • over 1 year ago

      It's long been known that Native women are often victims of sexual violence, more than other women, just no one has done anything about it. And that is absolutely shameful. This has to change, here must be trained female police officers for such cases and counseling centers for victims of sexual violence must be created. And long prison sentences must also be required for these disgusting acts.

      While it's estimated that 1 out of 6 American women will be raped and/or sexually assaulted in her lifetime, more than 1 in 3 Native American women will be raped in her lifetime. A Native woman is 2.5 times more likely to be raped and/or sexually assaulted than other women in the U.S. Rape on the reservation is a women's issue that continues to fall through the cracks, despite ongoing efforts to bring it to national and international attention:

      In 2007, Amnesty International published its findings in the study "Maze of Injustice: The Failure to Protect Indigenous Women from Sexual Violence in the USA."

      That same year, NPR did a two-part series on the subject: "Rape Cases On Indian Lands Go Uninvestigated" and "Legal Hurdles Stall Rape Cases on Native Lands."

      The NPR series chronicled horrific stories either ignored by law enforcement or unreported because they have become commonplace: a 20-year-old woman raped and beaten by a group of men, then locked in a bathroom, eventually dying from the assault; a 14-year-old girl who accepted a ride home from a woman she knew and was subsequently raped by the woman's husband and his four friends; and a teenager walking home who was abducted and raped by a man in a passing car and dumped in a ditch.

      The NPR investigation also revealed a system underfunded and often broken: a tribal health center inadequately staffed and without rape kits to collect DNA from victims; tribal leaders and Native police unable to prosecute non-native perpetrators; and a patchwork of confusing jurisdictions in which federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement intersect and clash with each other.

      Underlying the issue is a terrible fact that makes justice all but impossible: 80% of rapes involve non-native perpetrators, and tribal authorities are powerless in these situations because only federal prosecutors can prosecute crimes on tribal lands.

      The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) oversees law enforcement on the reservations, and many police departments are woefully understaffed; one reservation the size of Connecticut has only 5 officers to cover the entire area. One BIA officer told NPR he was "too overwhelmed and overworked to keep up with the number of calls for rape, sexual assault and child abuse" that came in each week.

      While Congress and the federal government appropriate funds to improve the situation on tribal lands, rape and sexual assault continue to escalate.

    • Diana Dallal AUSTRALIA
      • over 1 year ago

      Violence, sexual coecion/abuse/assault/intimidation is a CRIME, and must be stopped.

    • Gail Boothroyd WISHEK, ND
      • over 1 year ago

      Much of the sexual violence against Native women in the Northern Plains are perpetrated by white men, not Native. When I told a so-called friend (a non-Native) about the abuses and the staggering numbers of rapes, he said that "...all Native women want to be raped and beaten. They enjoy it." (I won't repeat my response. And no, we're no longer friends.) It just sickens me.

    • Simon Schmidt ÜBERLINGEN, GERMANY
      • almost 2 years ago



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