Callers Representing More Than 50 Tribal Nations Reach Out To StrongHearts Native Helpline for Culturally-Based Support for Domestic Violence
AUSTIN, Texas – In its first eight months of operations, the StrongHearts Native Helpline (1-844-7NATIVE) has taken calls from Native Americans affected by domestic violence representing 53 tribal nations across 38 states, demonstrating the widespread need for culturally-rooted resources to support tribal communities affected by intimate partner abuse.
Since March, the StrongHearts Native Helpline, the first, national crisis line for American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiians facing domestic violence and dating violence, has responded to the unique needs of Native victims of abuse, who historically have lacked access to supportive services. StrongHearts advocates are trained to navigate each caller’s abuse situation with a deep understanding of tribal communities, culture and tradition.
“We are honored by those reaching out because we know Native people really do face unique barriers to safety and justice in their communities,” said Lori Jump (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians), StrongHearts Assistant Director. “In many cases, a victim of domestic violence may feel like there’s nowhere left to turn to for help. Our goal is to provide a safe space for Native survivors, where they can reach out for help anonymously and safely.”
The StrongHearts Native Helpline, a collaborative project of the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center and the National Domestic Violence Hotline, was created to respond to the epidemic of domestic violence and dating violence in tribal communities. According to a recent study by National Institute of Justice, more than one in two Native women and one in three Native men have experienced physical violence by intimate partners in their lifetime.
Through StrongHearts, trained advocates offer callers emotional support, assistance with safety planning, information and education, and referrals to culturally specific resources. Callers after hours will have the option to connect with the National Domestic Violence Hotline or to call back on the next business day.
“Domestic violence is one of the biggest public safety issues in tribal communities, yet so many Native survivors aren’t getting the culturally supportive services they so desperately need,” said Caroline LaPorte (Little River Band of Ottawa Indians), StrongHearts Senior Native Affairs Policy Advisor. “Our advocates help fill the gap by listening to and responding to the complex needs of our callers, but the need for more resources is clear.”
– About StrongHearts Native Helpline: Created by and built to serve tribal communities across the United States, the StrongHearts Native Helpline, a project of the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and the Family Violence Prevention and Services Program, is a culturally-appropriate, anonymous, confidential and no-cost service dedicated to serving Native American survivors of domestic violence and dating violence, along with their concerned family members and friends. By dialing 1-844-7NATIVE (1-844-762-8483) Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. CST, callers can connect at no cost one-on-one with knowledgeable StrongHearts advocates who can provide lifesaving tools and immediate support to enable survivors to find safety and live lives free of abuse. Learn more about the StrongHearts Native Helpline at www.strongheartshelpline.org.
This project described was made possible by Grant Number 90EV0426 from the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Family and Youth Services Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.