TUCSON, Ariz.(KGUN) — Nearly 4 out of 5 Native American women experience violence in their lifetime, and that’s 10 times higher than the national average. On top of that homicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for Indigenous women and that has families speaking out for justice and change.
Tiffany Sorrell is still devastated about the disappearance of her mother. She says since KGUN9 aired her story last May, the experience has helped her family heal from the loss of her mother.
“Since the last time we spoke, that really opened up the floodgates for me to speak out more,” Sorrell said.
Tiffany’s mother Laverda Sorrell vanished on July 4th of 2002 from Fort Defiance Arizona and hasn’t been seen since. The case has been stalled for years but the family hired a new attorney to help them advocate for justice. The family is also hoping to have more contact with FBI investigators.
Tiffany says raising awareness and helping other families has been one of the best ways to honor her mother. She helped organize a missing and murdered awareness walk set for May 7th at Brandi Fenton Park.
“It’s really been a healing journey for me speaking more about it and finding my voice and speaking my truth,” Sorrell said.
The event was designed to get more people involved and to offer them services to help them move through life. The University of Arizona College of Public Health and other organizations were also involved in the process. Speakers will be on hand to inspire and motivate everyone who shows up. Resources for wellness and a sharing circle will be available.
“The support that came with it has been phenomenal I think that’s why it’s so important to have these awareness advocacy events,” Sorrell said.
While the efforts to bring attention to this tragic aspect of Native life continues, so will Tiffany’s drive to help as many people as possible, and she’s willing to do it one step at a time.
“If you’re not ready you don’t necessarily have to share but finding a support system where you can relate and you can come and walk and be with nature and others that have gone through it,” Sorrell said.
If you have information call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324)
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