(L to R) Sequoyah Schools Superintendent Leroy Qualls watches as Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker signs a proclamation declaring April “Sexual Assault Awareness Month” and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden shows his support. Sequoyah High School National Honor Society students, Cherokee Nation Behavioral Health officials and Sequoyah staff also attended the proclamation signing to show full support.
TAHLEQUAH, OKLAHOMA — Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker signed a proclamation Tuesday declaring April “Sexual Assault Awareness Month.”
He signed the proclamation with support of Sequoyah High School students in attendance, since every two minutes somewhere in America someone is sexually assaulted and 44 percent are 18 years of age or younger.
The proclamation also declares April 23 to be “Denim Day” in the Cherokee Nation. Tribal citizens and employees are encouraged to wear jeans to draw attention to the fact that rape and sexual assault remains a serious issue in Oklahoma and across the country.
Since taking office, Chief Baker’s administration has made combating domestic violence a top priority. The tribe, through the Attorney General’s office, implements a Violence Against Women Act grant through the U.S. Department of Justice to help victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking with victim advocacy, transitional housing and civil legal assistance programs.
The Cherokee Nation is dedicated to combating the epidemic of sexual assault, not only in tribal communities, but also in the surrounding communities. To report sexual assault or get more information, call the emergency hotline at 866-458-5399 or Cherokee Nation ONE FIRE officials at 918-453-5113.