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What’s going on with Robin Poor Bear?


Robin Poor Bear and children Anthony, 14, and Darian, 17. Photo courtesy of PBS's Frontline.

Robin Poor Bear and children Anthony, 14, and Darian, 17. Photo courtesy of PBS’s Frontline.

“Kind Hearted Woman,” a PBS documentary that aired on April 1 and 2, covered the harrowing story of Robin Poor Bear, a Oglala Sioux woman in North Dakota who was struggling to raise two teenagers in the aftermath of alcohol addiction, domestic and sexual abuse. talked with filmmaker David Sutherland before the film aired (Here is that interview).

Today we talked to Poor Bear to find out how her life is going.

By the close of the film she had won custody of her children from her abusive ex-husband, had her husband jailed for abusing her daughter and foster daughter, and was making regular appearances in North Dakota and Minnesota to educate people on how to detect and prevent abuse.

Q: Robin, what has been the reaction to the film?

A: It’s been phenomenal. A lot, lot, lot of support coming out of it. My Facebook friends list has been blowing up. My emails have been blowing up. I have been trying to get back to people as much as I can to answer questions. But it’s a lot of emails.

Q: What was it like having a camera crew follow your family for three years?

A: We didn’t notice them. We just got used to them.

Q: Will you go Minnesota State University School of Social Work in Moorhead to finish your social work degree?

A: I would love to. I did attend the University of Phoenix and took a couple of classes. But with everything going on it’s been hard for me to focus. I just don’t know. I don’t know what I want to do tomorrow.

Q: How are your children Darian, 17, and Anthony, 14, doing?

A. Darian is getting ready to go to college. Anthony is doing awesome. They are just my heroes.

Q: Are you continuing to educate people about sexual abuse?

A. Yes, I am still doing that. We have a couple of engagements lined up for April. One of the things I am also trying to do for our tribe (the Oglala Sioux Spirit Lake Reservation) is get a long term treatment facility for women and children — the Sacred Journey Lodge. I’m working on the 501(c)3 (nonprofit designation) application now.

Want to keep up with Robin Poor Bear’s continuing story. Follow her on Facebook. Social workers also help clients overcome physical and sexual abuse. To learn more visit the National Association of Social Workers’ “Help Starts Here” Family Safety website.





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