U.S. Attorney General makes unannounced stop in Tulsa about domestic violence - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

U.S. Attorney General makes unannounced stop in Tulsa about domestic violence


TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno made an unannounced stop Tuesday at a national conference concerned with domestic abuse against American Indian women.

"Unless we end violence in the home and against the people we love ... it will be handed down to youth of today and youth of tomorrow that domestic violence is a way of life," Reno told about 350 people attending the third annual Women Are Sacred Conference.

Reno's visit, which was not publicly announced, was covered by the Tulsa World.

The national average of American Indian women raped or sexually assaulted is seven in every 1,000. That number is considerably higher than the three out of every 1,000 for African Americans and 2 out of 1,000 for white women, Reno said.

Reno said a change of attitudes and federal funding are the two solutions to the problem.

She cited her work as a district attorney in Miami in 1979 as a way she has seen community attitudes change toward violence against women.

At that time, she said the thought about many women who had been battered, stalked or raped was that they had done something wrong.

But she said that attitude changed and more women came forth with complaints of violence when counseling programs were set up and punishment against domestic violence offenders was strengthened.

Reno said that by the end of fiscal year 2000, 265 tribal governments will have received a total of $34 million as a result of the Violence Against Women Act, signed by President Clinton in 1994.

While that funding is a step in the right direction, Reno acknowledged there is still room for improvement.

"The one thing I ask you to do is don't give up," she said.

"I have seen the change."

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