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Fri Jun 4, 2021, 07:24 AM

Sexual violence along pipeline route follows Indigenous women's warnings

Hilary Beaumont
Fri 4 Jun 2021 07.00 EDT

The $2,9bn Line 3 pipeline has brought thousands of workers to Minnesota – and one crisis center has received more than 40 reports of harassment and abuse

Hilary Beaumont
Fri 4 Jun 2021 07.00 EDT

On May 15, a woman met a pipeline worker at a bar in Minnesota and agreed to go to his house, but when they arrived, there were four other people there and she felt uncomfortable.

“She wanted to leave, she tried to leave,” said Amy Johnson, executive director of the Violence Intervention Project (VIP) in Thief River Falls, who spoke to the woman on the phone. “It was very scary with those other men there. She said he had her in the bedroom and she couldn’t leave.” The woman finally got out of the house.

The Canadian company Enbridge is building the Line 3 oil pipeline through Minnesota, a $2.9bn project that replaces a corroded, leaking pipeline, and increases its capacity from 390,000 to 760,000 barrels a day. The project has brought an influx of thousands of workers who are staying in hotels, campgrounds and rental housing along the pipeline route, often in small towns like Thief River Falls, and on or near Native reservations.

Before Minnesota approved the pipeline, violence prevention advocates warned state officials of the proven link between employees working in extractive industries and increased sexual violence. Now their warnings have come true: two Line 3 contract workers were charged in a sex trafficking sting, and crisis centers told The Guardian they are responding to reports of harassment and assault by Line 3 workers. Johnson said VIP, a crisis center for survivors of violence, has received more than 40 reports about Line 3 workers harassing and assaulting women and girls who live in northwestern Minnesota.


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Reply Sexual violence along pipeline route follows Indigenous women's warnings (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jun 2021 OP
dflprincess Jun 2021 #1

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Jun 4, 2021, 10:48 PM

1. Several years ago there was a young Native American woman working at my neighborhood coffee shop.

She was from Mandan, ND. This was at a time when the abuse & disappearances of women, and Native women in particular, was at an all time high. Most the abuse being committed by oil workers. She told me when she went home, her mother would make her brothers meet her in Bismarck and, once she was home, her parents would not let her go out without her dad or one of the brothers. When she left, the brothers would go at least as far as Bismarck with her.

Really, if men in these "man camps" can't learn to behave, there needs to be a curfew for them or perhaps they shouldn't be let out of the "camps" without body cams. Think of it as the trade off for the jobs they have.

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