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New Shoshone Victim Services Director prioritizes shelter for domestic abuse survivors

Purple is the official color of domestic violence awareness month, and here we see a purple pin attached to braided sweetgrass.
Tasha LeClair

The Red Paint Alliance was a shelter in Fremont County and only survived for a year before the pandemic forced it to shut down in 2020. That left Fremont County Alliance providing services but a flood in 2020 also left them without a building, leaving few options for emergency shelter for domestic abuse survivors in the central Wyoming community.

Eastern Shoshone Victim Services director Tasha LeClair stepped into her new role late last year. She said that she plans on addressing the lack of shelter in the region by communicating more with other organizations to better address the problem.

“I know that COVID has affected a lot of what we can do. Since you know 2020, a lot of the programs were shut down. Some of them permanently shut down,” said LeClair. “Unfortunately, we lost a shelter that was here as well.”

LeClair said that in 2021 her office had 42 clients but half of those individuals had multiple cases of victimization.

LeClair said that there is a need in the community for a safe place to land in such a volatile situation, especially as people also need shelter from COVID.

“We can do emergency hotel stays for someone who's been victimized, but that's only for a few days. And that's not enough time,” she said.

LeClair is from Crowheart and wants to remind the community her office is open to Shoshone and Arapaho tribal members as well as non-tribal members.

Support includes help with court proceedings, assistance reporting crimes to law enforcement, and providing education.

Fremont County Alliance also said that they provide support to survivors such as financial assistance, emotional support at a hospital, and emergency transportation. They plan on tearing down their old flooded building to build another shelter, but funding is always and is currently an issue.

Taylar Dawn Stagner is a central Wyoming rural and tribal reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She has degrees in American Studies, a discipline that interrogates the history and culture of America. She was a Native American Journalist Association Fellow in 2019, and won an Edward R. Murrow Award for her Modern West podcast episode about drag queens in rural spaces in 2021. Stagner is Arapaho and Shoshone.

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