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Klamath Tribes expand crime victim support with $400,000 grant

The Klamath Tribes will use a $396,793 three-year federal grant to hire an advocate for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, sex trafficking and dating violence.

The Klamath Tribes are one of two Oregon tribes and 30 tribes across America to receive grant funds from the United States Office of Justice, a press release said. The Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians was awarded $714,783 to support long-term transitional housing programs for crime victims.

Klamath Tribes Social Services Director Marvin Garcia said they currently employ one victim advocate who handles up to 100 cases per month. He said the new advocate, likely to be hired from within the Klamath community, will connect more victims with support services for things like court appearances, housing and restraining order acquisition.

The current Klamath Tribes victim advocate has worked in the community for 10 years, Garcia said, and creates a culture of support for victims seeking help.

“It’s something that people weren’t willing to talk about to begin with, but now they are due to the awareness that has been done in the community,” Garcia said. “I think there are more people that are victims to domestic violence and sexual assault than people realize.”

More than 80 percent of Native American women across the country have experienced violence, according to the Indian Law Resource Center, and more than 50 percent have experienced sexual violence.

Garcia said the Klamath Tribes provide support to all Native Americans, not just Klamath tribal members. The tribes also run child welfare and sex trafficking victim programs.

He said they hoped to renew the federal crime victim grant in three years.

“People are coming forward and declaring that they’ve been victimized,” Garcia said. “It is beneficial for the county that some effort is being put into this work.”



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