ensure Native women’s access to health care after sexual assault now. — Margaret

My name is Charon and I run a women’s shelter and resource center. I am a survivor of sexual assault. Not all healthcare is the same, and I personally know the challenges Native women face when it comes to receiving care after a sexual assault.

When a person does not disclose that they have been raped, they carry it around for a lifetime. The trauma of a rape can create such a burden that it can crush your dreams and aspirations. I create safe spaces for people to disclose assault, so that when they disclose in a timely manner, law enforcement can get involved and forensic exams can happen.

You can take the work I do even further if you take action now: ensure we receive adequate and equal care from Indian Health Service.

There is so much more the government could be doing to support Native women. The more Native women have access to rape kits, follow-up care and support services, the more quickly our communities can heal. That’s why I am asking you to join me in pressuring Indian Health Service to ensure healthcare for Native women.

As a rape survivor and a survivor of domestic violence I understand that our aspirations for the future and self-worth are detoured. When I help someone who has gone through this, I can actually see a change in them — they begin to smile and talk about the future.

This is my life’s work, and you can join us in a brighter future: make a commitment to ensure that Native women have equal access to care after sexual assault.

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