Partridge speaks on impact of legislation in Indian Country
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma — Shawn Partridge wore a ‘Warriors Honor Women’ hoodie with boots and a ribbon skirt as she stood in front of the crowd that braved the cold to attend the Tulsa Women’s March on Jan. 19.
She had prepared a speech but once the time came to deliver, she decided to let her message flow naturally.
Partridge’s speech began with the focus on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, which led to commending the first non-Native conviction through the 2013 Violence Against Women Act reauthorization by the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.
“Despite that progress, we have so much more to do,” Partridge said.
She talked about the need to hold perpetrators accountable for crimes against women and children without having to rely on the federal government.
Partridge pointed out how non-Natives who commit sexual assault, stalking, sex trafficking or child abuse are rarely convicted due to jurisdictional issues.
“With this new congress, we have to demand reintroduction for reauthorization,” she said.
Partridge said during a later interview that Sheila Jackson introduced components directly relating to MMIW in the new VAWA reauthorization.
“It’s hard to separate MMIW from the impact of domestic and sexual violence,” she said.
She finished her speech by addressing any survivors that may have been in the crowd.
“You did not deserve to be abused, you can heal, you can move forward,” Partridge said. “Speak up and stand up to them.”
She said her main purpose was to address the issues that Native women face to encourage non-Natives to become allies and the impact of the 2013 VAWA reauthorization.
Partridge said despite the weather, a surprising number of people showed up from all different backgrounds.
“We have amazing diversity in Tulsa,” she said. “The number of men in attendance was really encouraging.”