Yakima, WA - May 5 is National Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Day. This is a day to bring attention to the epidemic of murdered and missing women and for families to demand justice for their loved ones.
To bring this day into the spotlight, the Victim's Resource Program at Yakama Nation Behavioral Health is hosting events all week through Zoom, most of them are focused on safety.
According to Victim's Advocate Andrea Batin they are focusing on safety so people know what to do if they are in a situation where they are a victim.
"With Kola she'll be actually be showing you how to do some exercises or things you an do to prevent it or if something does happen to you what you do in that situation so she'll show some moves that you can use," Batin said. "Then the coping and healing with Priscilla and the elders will have some tips and what kind of things to look for and what you can do."
Tomorrow professional fighter and purple belt Kola Thompson will be giving safety training. While it does include self defense, it will mainly focus on how to prepare for a bad situation.
Thompson said the training will be creating a plan on a PDF to skip over those first 72 hours law enforcement makes people wait when someone goes missing. This document is making it clear, you did not intentionally go missing so the search starts sooner.
"It provides this layout basically of this persons overall schedule, expectations just moving day to day, communication all the questions law enforcement will only start asking after that 72 hour period," Thompson said.
On Wednesday, elder Priscilla Blackwolf will also give some safety tips and discuss coping and healing for families. On Thursday, Rod's House will discuss the resources they offer to homeless youth. All these events will start a 1:30p.m.
Friday at 9a.m. is when the big event takes place, a REDgalia and drive thru vigil at the Yakama Nation Cultural Center. At the vigil, families will speak about their missing or murdered loved ones.
You can watch these events Here.