Pawhuska, OK – The Osage Nation Family Violence Department (ONFVPD) was recently involved in what they are calling an MIMIR case or a case involving Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives.
The Director of the Osage Nation Family Violence Prevention Department was notified one evening of a situation by a grassroots MMIW activist out of Texas that one of her Oklahoma relatives had been beaten and had her children taken. The woman was asking for help from the online Native community. The Director made arrangements for the victim to call her and then come into the office to start the process of building a file and a case.
What the Director of ONFVPD learned was that the victim had been in an abusive relationship with the father of her two youngest children and had recently ended the relationship because of that abuse. Within a few weeks, the abuser entered her home uninvited with three of his family members. The family members held her down and assaulted her as her former boyfriend left with the children.
ONFVPD promptly assisted the victim with the filing of protective orders against all involved and a Writ of Habeas Corpus for the children. From July when the victim drove to Pawhuska looking for help until January 7, 2020, ONFVPD staff worked the case to not only look for the children but also to keep their mother safe.
In November of 2019, ONFVPD Director referred the case to Oklahoma City Private Investigator Darcie Parton-Scoon who soon put out a call to Native women throughout the state to call Tulsa Police Department and the Tulsa County DA and demand action on this case. Charges were filed on two counts of felony child-stealing and a warrant was issued. On January 5, 2020, the abuser was arrested.
ONFVPD worked with volunteers and grassroots organizations to post missing flyers on social media and in communities where tips were received of his whereabouts. They kept the victim and her other children in safe locations when threats escalated, coordinated with other agencies to keep her safe, accompanied her to court, and provided information to law enforcement in addition to just providing a listening ear on those days and nights when her loneliness was unbearable.
On January 7, 2020, just before 11:00 AM, ONFVPD Director received a message that the children had been located and their mom was on her way to retrieve them from the Tulsa County Sheriff. The ONFVPD Director said, “Our office erupted in smiles, cheers, and hugs. We are all mothers in this office and the thought that two toddlers had been missing their mother for seven months weighed on us every day. We knew we couldn’t stop looking because we would not want anyone to give up if it were our children.”
According to ONFVPD Director, “Our work is not over. There are still some things we need to do to keep this family safe and healthy now that the babies are back with their mom. Now another flurry of activity needs to take place in our office.”
The ONFVPD Advocate is anxious to continue helping on this case. “I will be going to court with our client as we get through more protective order proceedings and the criminal proceedings on this case. I don’t want her to feel like she doesn’t have support. I’m not an attorney but I can stand with her and hold a safe space for her until this is all over.”
For more information about this case, please visit: https://www.newson6.com/story/41466788/tulsa-police-searching-for-man-charged-with-child-stealing
For more information about the Osage Nation Family Violence Prevention Department, please visit: https://www.osagenation-nsn.gov/what-we-do/counseling-center/domestic-violence