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The Pyramid v. The Circle

Wabanaki Legal News, Winter 2004


In Native spirituality the circle is sacred. Using a circle to show the unnatural power and control present in domestic violence is a misuse of a sacred symbol. The Native community has changed the circle image used by the white community into a pyramid which is printed below. Go here to see a special circle. But this is not a circle describing behaviors that hurt. It is a circle that describes behaviors that can help heal. This model was developed by Mike Jackson and David Garvin. It is the Coordinated Community Action Model.

 

The Pyramid

This triangle was developed by the Sacred Circle
National Resource Center to End
Violence Against Native Women
722 St. Joseph Street
Rapid City, SD 57701
Phone: 605-341-2050 or 1-877-733-7623
Fax: 605-341-2472

Sacred Circle promotes the sovereignty and safety of women and works to change individual and institutional beliefs that oppress Native women.

Power and Control (Unnatural)

  PHYSICAL VIOLENCE 
  PUNCHING    KICKING    CHOKING     PUSHING    SLAPPING    PULLING HAIR 

Male
Priviledge:

Treats her like a
servant. Makes all
the big decisions. Acts
like the "king of the castle."
Defines men’s and women’s roles
Isolation: Controls what she does,
who she sees and talks to, what she reads.
Limits her outside involvement. Uses jealousy
to justify actions. Intimidation: Makes her afraid by
using looks, actions, gestures. Smashes things. Destroys her
property. Abuses Pets. Displays weapons. Emotional Abuse:
Puts her down. Makes her feel bad about herself. Calls her names.
Makes her think she’s crazy. Plays mind games. Humiliates her. Makes
her feel guilty. Minimize, Lie and Blame: Makes light of the abuse and
doesn’t take her concerns seriously. Says the abuse didn’t happen. Shifts respon-
sibility for abusive behavior. Says she caused it. Using Children: Makes her feel guilty
about the children. Uses the children to relay messages. Uses visitation to harass her.
Threatens to take away the children. Economic Abuse: Prevents her from working. Makes
her ask for money. Gives her an allowance. Takes her money. Doesn’t let her know about or
access family income. Coercion and Threats: Makes and/or carries out threats to do something
to hurt her. Threatens to leave her, to commit suicide, to report her to welfare. Makes her drop charges.
Makes her do illegal things. Cultural Abuses: Competes over "Indianness." Misinterprets culture to prove
male superiority/female submission. Uses relatives to beat her up. Buys into "blood quantum" competitions.
Ritual Abuse: Prays against her. Defines spirituality as masculine. Stops her from practicing her ways. Uses
religion as a threat. "God doesn’t allow divorce." Says her period makes her "dirty."                                                                                              

  SEXUAL VIOLENCE 
PHYSICALLY ATTACKING SEXUAL PARTS OF HER BODY   TREATING HER LIKE A SEX OBJECT

What beliefs are reflected by these behaviors?

  • women hating
  • violence
  • domination
  • ability to cause fear
  • greed/materialism
  • child-hating
  • oppression
  • shaming
  • might over right
  • dishonesty

Violence = Having Societal and Individual power that gives privilege to certain groups over others. This leads to many forms of oppression that destroy, kill, and creates an unsafe, fearful and unnatural environment for everyone.

Publication Volume: 
2004.1
Facet Content Type: