Mescalero Apache Tribe Violence Against Women Awareness Program receives FBI award

(Photo: Mescalero Apache Tribe)

Mescalero Apache Tribe Violence Against Women Awareness Program Director Lola Ahidley to be presented with crystal award in Washington D.C. May 3

News Release

Albuquerque Federal Bureau of Investigation Division

The Albuquerque Federal Bureau of Investigation Division has presented the 2018 Director's Community Leadership Award to the Mescalero Apache Tribe Violence Against Women Awareness Program (VAWA).

Started in 2015 as part of a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, the program provides services to victims of domestic violence and other violent crimes as well as implements educational programs about domestic violence and human trafficking. 

Each of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's 56 field offices annually selects an individual or organization to receive the award, which recognizes efforts in combating crime, terrorism, drugs, and violence in America. 

Mescalero Apache Tribe Violence Against Women Awareness Program Director Lola Ahidley has been invited to a ceremony on Friday in Washington, D.C., where Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray will present her and other recipients with crystal awards. 

"The Mescalero Apache Tribe Violence Against Women Awareness Program has greatly increased awareness of domestic violence and other crimes," Albuquerque Federal Bureau of InvestigationSpecial Agent in Charge James Langenberg said. "The Federal Bureau of Investigation is proud to recognize the hard work of those who are improving communication among victims, families, law enforcement, and the courts to help break the generational cycle of violence."

Ahidley, who is a Mescalero Apache, works with two assistants to offer free counseling to domestic violence victims and conduct no-cost community prevention and education on bullying, elder fraud, sex trafficking, and domestic violence. 

The Mescalero Apache Tribe Violence Against Women Awareness Program meets regularly with U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) victim services specialists to staff cases and to provide for immediate needs not funded under U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs  or Federal Bureau of Investigation programs, such as lodging, clothing, hygiene items, and cellphones for victims of domestic violence and other violent crimes.

The Mescalero Apache Tribe Violence Against Women Awareness Program attends arraignments for domestic violence victims in Mescalero Apache tribal court and successfully requested to have an ordinance passed by the tribal government to allow advocates in court at the request of a victim.

The program recently sponsored a two-day "women's self-defense training" seminar that was so popular that Ahidley has been asked to repeat it.   

The Mescalero Apache Tribe Violence Against Women Awareness Program is conducting a scheme to raise awareness of human trafficking, especially around the tribe's casinos and truck stops. They offer training for employees of those businesses and have put messages on billboards throughout the reservation.

More information about the Mescalero Apache Tribe Violence Against Women Awareness Program can be found at:

https://mescaleroapachetribe.com/mescalero-vaw/

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