On Thursday, February 20, 2020, Clarice Bun Hardy addressed the media at a press conference in Anchorage. The same day, the ACLU of Alaska announced a lawsuit against the City of Nome, on behalf of Ms. Hardy. The lawsuit depicts a history of systemic bias toward Alaska Native women -- whose reports of sexual assault have gone without invesitgation or justice for decades. Ms. Hardy is one of those women.
"I miss playing basketball. I miss leaving my curtains open to let the sunlight in. I miss restful night sleeps. I pray a lot and remind myself that I’m here for a reason.
Before I was raped, and before I learned the truth about the Nome Police Department, I considered my colleagues family, I trusted them.
So that’s who I turned to after I was raped. They told me that they’d help me, they didn’t. Instead they lied to me, over and over and over again.
Sometimes when I close my eyes, I can still hear their voices and picture their faces as they try to avoid looking at me,
I felt like I was supposed to be silent. It was suffocating… that feeling almost killed me. Feeling forced to be silent was the scariest part of my experience.
I made a decision to use the voice I have because I am terrified that what happened to me will happen again, and I can’t let that happen. Through my voice, I’ve found power.
I moved to back to Shaktoolik in December of 2018. I didn’t feel safe in Nome, I didn’t know who I could trust. So, I went home, back to my roots.
There, girls and men tell me their stories… stories like mine. It reminds me that no matter how bad my trauma is, or how real my depression is, that I have voice for a reason.
I can’t undo the harm done to the hundreds of other women the Nome Police Department failed to help. But maybe I can stop this from happening again. Maybe that is my purpose."