A celebration of progress and a call for greater equality

Statistics paint a somewhat safer environment for Alaskan women today than five years ago, but a group gathered in the State Office Building Tuesday came together to say it wasn’t enough.

Lauree Morton, the executive director for the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, told a crowd of more than 100 that in 2010, it was reported that 59 out of 100 women in the state were victims of intimate partner violence, sexual violence or both. In 2015, that figure decreased and now stands at 50 out of 100 women.

“It’s still too much, it’s still too many, but damn, we’re moving the needle in the right direction,” Morton said. “Now is the time to strengthen these efforts.”

Morton was one of several speakers during Juneau’s fourth annual One Billion Rising Campaign, an international movement to end violence against women and shed light on the fact that 1 billion women worldwide will experience violence in their lifetimes.

Ati Nasiah, a prevention director at the AWARE (Aiding Women in Abuse and Rape Emergencies) shelter, said in Juneau last year 160 women with 100 children sought shelter from violence. That added up to over 800 hours of counseling for victims.

“This is not the world we want to live in,” Nasiah said. “Let’s show the world what it looks like when 1 billion people heal.”

Although certainly a women’s issue, several men and boys were in the crowd, some wearing buttons that said “I love women” and “I rise for revolution.”

Alaska Native Brotherhood Grand President Sasha Soboleff told the audience that the tradition among Native groups is to respect women, a fact highlighted by the carrying on of matriarchal clans in families.

He pointed to the men and women in the crowd, one by one singling them out as the “creators of (a) new healing” that will carry on when others fail.

“Do what needs to be done, stop what needs to be stopped, and not just for yourself,” Soboleff said.

Local and state officials were also in the crowd, moving alongside Eagle Raven Dancers who performed love songs, and holding their index fingers in the air during a rally call for justice for the 1 billion women around the world experiencing violence.

First Lady Donna Walker shared with the crowd her experience visiting shelters across the state, telling them about a woman who as a child lived in a shelter when her mom escaped violence. Now, as an adult that woman had to escape violence for her child’s sake, just one example of the cyclical trend that occurs when violence isn’t stopped.

“We demand an end to violence,” Walker said.

More in News

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Aurora forecast for the week of Feb. 19

These forecasts are courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute… Continue reading

Rep. Tom McKay, R-Anchorage, speaks in favor of House Bill 143 on Friday. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska House approves relaxed environmental rules for ‘advanced recycling’

Applies to facilities using high heat or chemicals to turn plastic garbage into raw materials.

Juneau Mayor Beth Weldon (right) discusses the Juneau School District’s financial crisis with school board Vice President Emil Mackey (right) and City Attorney Robert Palmer during a meeting Thursday night at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Meetings to comment on Assembly’s proposed $9.6M of help to school district scheduled next two Mondays

Plan includes $4.1 million no-interest loan, picking up “shared costs” this year and next.

A crowd overflows the library at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé on Thursday night as school board members meet to select a consolidation option to help resolve the Juneau School District’s budget crisis. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
School district leaders approve putting grades 9-12 at JDHS, 7-8 and HomeBRIDGE at TMHS

Elementary schools will be K-6; Marie Drake, Floyd Dryden to close this fall if plan gets final OK.

Members of the Alaska House of Representatives celebrate the passage of a sweeping education bill on Thursday. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
House passes $680 BSA increase, with other education provisions

Bill now returns to Senate, which must pass it unchanged before it can head to the governor’s desk.

House Minority Leader Calvin Schrage, I-Anchorage, speaks during Thursday night’s floor debate on an education bill. (Screenshot from akl.tv livestream)
House approves $680 BSA increase, extra support for charter schools in education bill

Bill passes by 38-2 vote, Senate expected to concur with changes after days of negotiations.

Musicians perform Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024, at Devil’s Club Brewing. The event was among the first three allowed under a newly amended state law. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Three Alaska alcohol manufacturers sue state over rule limiting live music and entertainment

Plaintiffs say limit of four events annually at breweries and distilleries violates First Amendment.

A previously unidentified Eastern North Pacific right whale surfaces in the waters of the Gulf of Alaska in September 2023. The discovery of this whale was hailed by scientists studying the critically endangered population. Members of the public are being asked to choose a name for the animal through an online contest that will use bracketed competition. (Photo by Bernardo Alps/NOAA Fisheries, International Whaling Commission and WildSea Inc.)
Agency asks public to name, get to know member of highly endangered Alaska whale population

NOAA wants people online to name Eastern North Pacific right whale spotted in September.

The front page of the Juneau Empire on Feb. 21, 1994. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Empire Archives: Juneau’s history for the week of Feb. 25

Three decades of capital city coverage.

Most Read