Elsie, Michelle, South Dakota discussed on Native America Calling
This is native. America. Calling interrogate would from a set of Pueblo and we are talking about the statute of limitations on child. Sex Abuse Cases Today. How long after the alleged abuse happens do you think survivors should be able to sue to determine an organization's accountability. The Boy Scouts of America the Catholic Church and the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints have all had child sex abuse lawsuits against them. And if you'd like to weigh in on this conversation today call us at one. Eight hundred nine six two eight four eight with us on the line today. Is Michelle The funding eccles attorney With the nine little girls she is also Turtle Mountain Chippewa. My pleasure to have her here and show the case that we've been discussing. Why do you think the South Dakota legislators don't want to pass this law I think that At this point I had different theories throughout the years and And this year I talked during my testimony about what my true thoughts are at this point. I think where the the the church is extremely powerful and we felt that power each year after year and And seeing it at work with the legislators and And so it it's it's really the I think that the legislators are following suit with what they think that the church wants and it probably largely due to campaign no donations that are being offered to them in so when we think about all this if the lower to change what would it mean for survivors. So if we were able to get a lot to change this would allow them to pursue claims in court that they haven't been able to have moved forward so this only gives them the opportunity to have their claims heard to allow their voices to be heard about what occurred to them. What abuse occurred and How organizations and how abusers abused their trust and as children and violated the law And it's up to them to they have the burden of proof Once they do get that access to the courthouse So merely what this does is give them an opportunity to be heard. Thank you for that and folks if you'd like to talk with. Michelle gives us a call. One eight hundred nine six two eight four eight is the number also want to bring in a voice joining us today out of Anchorage Alaska we have. Lc Boudreau and she is a child six abuse survivor and Elsie is Yupik Eskimo. She grew up in the village of Saint. Mary's it's our pleasure to have her here to share her story. Elsie thank you for joining us for another native America. Calling thank you and thank you and Elsie. I really appreciate you having the courage to be here with us to share your story and let's start there the question that I asked Michelle about the ability You know to to have these laws protecting survivors for you. Elsie the ability to be heard. Tell me about the power of that. Well I think there's so much power in that Just even as a sexual abuse survivor to be able to find your voice and to speak your truth takes a lot of courage and then on the receiving end having people believe you Does something in terms of healing that allows you to move from blaming yourself and That victimize victimize mind and heart and spirit Took place where you know that you did nothing wrong that you know. And and that's the wish for all survivors is to get to the place where they know in their mind and their heart and their spirits that they did nothing wrong. That would happen to them was not their fault and So the there's just a lot of healing in that and and you think about you know the generations of people that have gone through boarding school and the holding back of Or prohibit prescribing people from using the APP. This avenue to to speak their truth is Is more harmful and in the long run into Elsie when we talk about increasing the statute of limitations. Where do things currently stand in Alaska? What is the statute of limitations? Both criminal and civil you know I. I don't want to be the expert on this. Except I do know that in Alaska there are no statute of limitations on when it comes to child sexual abuse. That law changed And when when I went through the process and It was difficult to ascertain whether or not the law was retro. Active meaning Those p the people that I like myself who were coming forward. It wasn't clear as a lavas written as to whether or not it would apply to us After the changing law so that makes sense in Elsie. When you hear about other states in the big push going on in South Dakota what do you think about these efforts to reform statue of limitations? I think it's really really important Especially being that you know as just the nature of child sexual abuse and how secrecy keeps it so There's so much power behind secrecy. At some you know I always say Silence is deafening. When it comes to child sexual abuse and and for people that have gone through. This need to have an avenue where they feel That they can speak their truth and that there would be people on the other side that would believe them and so I think it's so important. You know it you know like you here as children. You know like Even even myself like I didn't even know the words sexual abuse and if you even as an adult I was in college and was asked if I had been sexually abused and I lifted my counselor and I said no like in my mind at that point. I didn't equate what happened to me. As sexual abuse because it wasn't violent And the person that abused me was a priest and so I looked at it as something that You know Even years later like just understanding how that has affected me like it takes a long time and I think for many survivors to get to that place where they understand The nature of the abuse. And how how it has impacted them takes time so Allowing for the statute of limitations to be lifted would give more people the opportunity to speak their truth into. He'll I agree elsie. I really appreciate you sharing your story and You know to hear that this is something that you have endured in. Your life weighs heavy on on me and hearing this in. I'm raises concerns too. I think to a lot of people especially in our tribal communities where often we hear. Our children are the target were year. That story of our parents are those You know who have come before us. And they're sharing the stories and Elsie. Sometimes this gets a loss when we start talking about these kind of issues that When it gets into the law or people are trying to break away from the statute of limitations. There are survivors who have to come forward and share their story. And how heavy is it to have to do something like that in a public space But but I know a lot of times you do that so that other people will not have to endure what you did but share because this is an easy to do Elsie. Well you know I appreciate the question and I think you know. Just looking back on my life and You know like it's been since two thousand three that I came forward. You know and like the four that time I would never ever ever even imagine speaking publicly about this and You know having gone through the process and having spoken my truth and and having people Believe me and I've gotten it's almost like my voice has gotten stronger and I can I you know I often say like even the media has been like an extension of my voice and you think about the little like being a little kid you know and how their voices are You know when when they're when they've dealt with child sexual abuse almost like their voices fragile. You know their spirit is fragile and Getting to a place where you feel contained and loved and held So it's almost like when you speak your truth your and you have someone believe you. It's almost like you're being held and And and I think that's really important you know Having that sense so that you know that you're not alone and what happened to you was not your fault fault and that You have a right as a child to be loved to be Safe to Not have to you know deal with the actions of the adults that are there to protect you and and when when you think about the boarding school and and I think about the nine little girls You know I I. I've had the the honor of meeting them and talking to them and I I'm really Ungrateful for them for having for taking this on and You know I think about them and think about how how much The experience that they've gone through has affected their lives in a way that No one can take that back. You know So I don't know if I'm answering your question. You definitely your and I think you know. Maybe you're even speaking directly to people who are dealing with this today In I wanNA share another hotline with you the child help. Usa National Child Abuse Hotline is one eight hundred four. A child Also the national sexual assault hotline one. Eight hundred six five six hope If they're folks at You want to talk further about this and You know just hearing some of this and knowing that there are people who are wanting to give more avenues to survivors Eight to be able to tell their story as well as seek justice for those who have created harm to them What are your thoughts and your hearing stories about wanting to change his statute of limitations. Do you think they should even exist? One eight hundred nine six two four eight is the number Elsie. Thank you very much I want to go to a caller. We have limit in eastern Washington joining us today. Thank you for calling in go ahead. You're on here thank you. Yeah I never understood why there was even a statute of limitations. I was pressured into sex at fifteen by an extended family member and I think that I Sexual intercourse at least twice. He he wanted me to give him oral sex and pressured me into doing that and In nineteen sixty eight I thought okay. This is You know I'm cool. And maybe it's okay but I really didn't want it and I have to say I'm sixty eight now and it really messed with my understanding of my relationship with NASA I subsequently Never told anybody. I was ashamed. Embarrassed I didn't want to be a victim either and You know 'cause I was mature grown-up right anyway I didn't realize later how bad that was. And I realized that subsequently my attitude toward men was okay. I just roll over for men and I'm pray and then I felt like pray like I was always pray I was very pretty and sexy and stuff and I was just a prayer and it was funny men off and I never ever ever thought even in my twenty why is there a statute of limitations on this. It seems so weird to me I mean. Why would you like? It's going to like the victim or so-called whatever we were are.