To empower those seeking our services with the tools they need to rebuild their lives and become the strong individuals they were created to be; to effect social change through outreach and education in order to put an end to intergenerational violence; and to partner with state, county, and tribal court systems and law enforcement to hold perpetrators accountable for their crimes.
WHO DO WE SERVE?
We serve any victim of domestic violence, family violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking or human sex trafficking on the Osage Reservation (Osage County) regardless of ethnicity; any Native victim residing in Oklahoma or Kansas; and any Osage victim regardless of where they may reside.
Abusers who require our services must be from Osage County if they are non-Native. Abusers are responsible for their own transportation and are not eligible for any other services provided by Osage Nation Family Violence Prevention Department.
24-HOUR CRISIS LINE
Our Crisis line is answered 24 hours a day/7 days a week. If our Crisis Operator is on the line with another crisis call you will receive a call back within 15 minutes. Please be advised that for security reasons, the number appearing on your caller I.D. will be different than the crisis line number you called.
When the Crisis line is answered, you will merely hear “hello”. For your safety, the operator will not identify the line as a Family Violence Crisis line. If you ask the operator if you have called the crisis line, she will reply with, “May I help you?” This is to prevent batterer’s from checking your call log to find out if the call has been placed, which could put you in danger.
The Osage Nation Family Violence Prevention Shelter is a 24-hour a day/7 day a week shelter for ALL victims of family/domestic violence residing on the Osage Reservation (Osage County), for all Native victims in Oklahoma and Kansas, and for all Osage victims wherever they may reside. Our shelter does allow the minor children (of all ages and genders) of our victims to accompany them during their stay. The shelter provides a communal living environment where victims of family/domestic violence may develop a sense of community with the other shelter guests as well as with our staff.
Shelter guests will be provided with a myriad of daily activities and outings designed to increase independent living capabilities and improve self-esteem as well as just have fun with the other guests.
If you would like to come to our Family Violence Shelter, we can provide transportations if you have no other means to get there. We will ask you if you are in a safe place. For the safety of our staff, you must be in a safe place, well-lit and public. If you are unable to get to a safe place but still want to come to the shelter, we will call local law enforcement to request a civil standby while we retrieve you.
While at the shelter, if you have no other means of transportation, our staff will ensure that you have transportation to all appointments, job searches, housing searches, schooling, etc.
If you would like to leave our shelter, for any reason, we will provide transportation for you but may not take you to a private residence, for the safety of our staff.
While you are a guest at our shelter, our staff will assess the skills you need to obtain, or strengthen, your independent living capability so that we may work together to ensure your success when you are ready to leave the shelter.
All clients may apply for our Transitional Living service which provides financial assistance to victims who are working to rebuild their lives but need some support in starting that process. Application for this service does not mean automatic approval. Your case will be reviewed to determine if you are a viable candidate for this service or you may be put on a waiting list. When funds are exhausted, clients who have been approved will be put on a waiting list.
All clients may request referrals for counseling, medical care, or other services through the Osage Nation. Referrals may also be provided for county or state services upon request. Advocates are responsible for offering referrals and explaining what each agency can provide.
When you have been referred to us by DHS or Osage Nation Social Services, you will receive a danger/lethality assessment, which will be reported to the referring agency. We will also send them recommendations based on your score as well as your interview. We may also wish to interview your abuser prior to making recommendations. Attendance at support group, or other service recommended to DHS, will be reported to DHS or Osage Nation Social Services to show that you are compliant with our recommendations.
In addition to a weekly session with your advocate, at least two different support groups will be available to our shelter guests. Support groups are less structured than advocate sessions and allow shelter guests to interact with other women in the community who are dealing with family violence issues even though, perhaps, not a guest at the shelter.
All Clients may attend one of our three DV support groups or our Healing Circle, which is a support group for survivors of sexual assault (including adult survivors of childhood sexual assault).
DV support groups are held on Tuesday evenings from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and on Thursday mornings from 8:30 – 9:30 in Pawhuska, and on Wednesday evenings from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Skiatook. These support groups are open to our shelter guests and victims within the Osage County community. The Healing Circle is held on Wednesday evenings from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.
While you are a guest at our shelter, our staff Advocate will meet with you at least once each week for no less than 45 minutes to work with you on setting goals, achieving goals, answering questions, and reviewing your service plan. During this time, clients may receive additional referrals, have their Advocate communicate on their behalf with other agencies, or just listen and offer emotional support.
Walk-in clients and those who are referred to us from outside agencies will also be assigned an Advocate. While any Advocate in our office may assist you, your primary Advocate will do the lion’s share of the work on your case. Primary Advocates are assigned by the Director after reviewing your case.
Our Advocates also provides court advocacy. This means that you will have someone to go over court procedures and protocols prior to any court date, someone to go with you to file protective order petitions and attend hearings, and someone to provide for your security while attending court by requesting a private waiting room or a security escort to and from the parking lot. Legal Advocacy is not limited to protective order hearings. If you need special arrangements made in order to attend court, like a safe place to wait or a security escort to and from your car, please notify your primary Advocate to make those arrangements. If you would like your Advocate to attend court with you, you may call our main office to schedule your court date.
The Osage Nation Family Violence Department has a partnership with Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma. Our clients will have access to attorneys, at no cost, for legal issues relating to domestic violence such as protective order hearings, divorce and custody issues.
Policies are in place to provide for the safety of our shelter guests. Upon discharge from the shelter, guests will work with their advocate to create a safety plan for their new surroundings. A copy of your safety plan will be kept in your file at the shelter in case of emergency.
All clients who fall into the categories of family violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, dating violence, or human sex trafficking will be offered a safety plan. Safety plans are an important element for victims whether they have left their abuser or have remained for one reason or another.
Based on the score of the Danger/Lethality Assessment, our advocate will assist you in creating a safety plan for you and your children. Safety plans can be developed for home, school, work, or any place that the victim and her children feel the need. A copy of your safety plan will be kept in your file at our main office in case of emergency.
We may also, based on your situation, provide you with safety equipment such as personal alarms, pepper gel, new door knobs/deadbolts, motion detector lights or outdoor security cameras. We may also call local law enforcement in your area and asked for increased patrol in your neighborhood.
HOUSING & UTILITY ASSISTANCE
When our shelter guests are ready for independent living, the Osage Nation Family Violence Prevention Department will assist our guests by providing a deposit and first month’s rent, as well as deposits for utilities. Additionally, our Department will provide our shelter guests with furnishings, linens and other basic household needs.
ALL clients may request housing & utility assistance if they are relocating away from their abuser or if their utilities are currently in the abuser’s name and need to be changed to the client’s name.
WALK IN SERVICES
Walk in services are available to any victim of family violence, domestic violence, stalking, dating violence, or human sex trafficking, as well as to those referred to us by the Department of Human Services (DHS) or Osage Nation Social Services. Services are available from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. In the event of an emergency after hours or on weekends please call the Crisis Line at:
Most all protective orders in Osage County originate at the Osage Nation Family Violence Prevention Department. Our staff will assist you in filling out the petition, filing it with the court, making any necessary amendments, and accompanying you to the hearing for a final order. Advocates will also offer you a referral to Legal Aid for free representation when possible.
We assist victims with both tribal and district protective order petition assistance. If your case is not family violence related, you may need to attach a police report to your petition so please call our main office prior to driving to Pawhuska to make sure.
VICTIM INFORMATION AND NOTIFICATION EVERYDAY (VINE) SET-UP
After your emergency protective order has been granted, our staff will ensure that you are connected with VINE so that you will receive notifications when the protective order is served or is violated. VINE can also assist you in staying safe if your abuser is currently in jail by notifying you when he is released. Tribal protective orders are not connected to the VINE system.
Female clients who have experienced intimate partner violence will be offered a danger assessment to help us determine the level of danger the client is in as well as which services she may need. Danger assessments are currently available for female clients who have experienced both heterosexual and same-sex violence. Male victims will be interviewed and have a determination made but it will not be a formal danger assessment tool. John’s Hopkins has not yet developed an assessment tool for male victims.
ADDRESS CONFIDENTIALITY PROGRAM
The Osage Nation Family Violence Prevention Department is a certified application assistant for the State of Oklahoma’s Confidential Address Program. If you would like to relocate and maintain a confidential address for your own safety, we can help you.
All Osage Nation departments are mandated by Osage law to accept address confidentiality verification cards along with a letter from Osage Nation Family Violence Prevention Department when victims apply for other Osage Nation services.
SEXUAL ASSAULT SERVICES
The Osage Nation Family Violence Prevention Department has a Sexual Assault Forensic Examination, Support, Training, Access and Resources (SAFESTAR) who provides services to victims of sexual assault 24 hours each day/7 days each week. If you have been sexually assaulted and want help, please call our Crisis Line at:
Our Crisis Line Operator will contact our SAFESTAR and arrange for an examination location if the victim refuses to go to an Emergency Room. Our SAFESTAR is not mandated to report to the police unless you wish to report the crime. Our SAFESTAR can perform an external exam, collect evidence and store it in the event that the victim changes their mind and wishes to report the crime.
In the case of a victim who wishes to report the crime, the SAFESTAR will turn over all evidence collected to the police investigator according to evidence collection protocols.
Our SAFESTAR will provide victims of sexual assault with a “morning after” birth control pill upon request.
We also have a Traditional Healing Coordinator who provides services to victims of sexual assault. Our Traditional Healing Coordinator is not a certified therapist but will explore more traditional methods of healing from trauma. In some cases, the Traditional Healing Coordinator may also serve as your primary Advocate, depending on the nature of your case.
If you prefer an internal exam our staff will arrange for a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) exam and may also accompany you to that exam if you wish. Transportation may be available.
BATTERER’S INTERVENTION GROUP
Batterer’s intervention service is an educational group for those who abuse their intimate partners. This group is not designed for non-intimate partner family violence offenders. This is NOT therapy and all work will be done in groups. The service is free upon initial acceptance into the program but participants will be charged if they have been previously terminated from the service for any reason.
Abusers who wish to receive this service must call our main office line at 918-287-5422 and make an appointment for intake and assessment. Abusers are not allowed in our main office at any time other than between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. every Tuesday. Our first priority is victim safety so this policy will be strictly enforced.
If abusers miss a regularly scheduled group, there will be no other time set aside for them throughout the week to make up that week’s information. This is about accountability and responsibility.