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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE & INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

"An NIJ-funded study shows that American Indian and Alaska Native women and men suffer violence at alarmingly high rates."

- National Institute of Justice

Domestic violence and intimate partner violence occurs in all communities. However, various causes can affect the level, intensity, and prevalence of violence. Studies indicate that violence against women—including domestic abuse and sexual assault—is higher among Native American communities.

In all communities, it is possible to intervene in domestic violence situations early on, and even prevent them from happening in the first place. The New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NYSCADV) aims to support and facilitate the path to domestic violence prevention. NYSCADV’s Domestic Violence and Indigenous Peoples Project, funded through the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, provides training, listening sessions, and resources related to Indigenous Peoples for domestic violence service provider programs of New York State. This resource guide is a collection of research, best practices, articles, and resources for advocates and domestic violence survivors.

Map of Recognized Indigenous nations and territories in New York State.

Indigenous Nations and Territories in New York State

Historical Trauma

To end domestic violence in all its forms, we must understand the historical context of why it exists in Native communities today. This resrouce page contains a selection of items that highlight the history and issues impacting Indigenous people and how the issues are being addressed today.

The Cultural and Creator's wheels explain different forms of abuse that Native American victims experience in their relationships. Cultural abuse isolates the victims from the community and harms their emotions. Families are shaped by certain rules that in turn are driven by cultural beliefs. In light of the importance of culture and spirituality to Native Americans identities, cultural abuse can be severe disruptive to victims’ well-being. In abusive situations, the perpetrators might belittle survivors’ traditions, practices, and beliefs. Perpetrators might control survivors’ interactions with other members of the community or prevent them from participating in ceremonies and gatherings. They may also force survivors to practice some traditions that they are not willing to do.

By examining the many ways society reinforces the use of power and control, those using the wheel can identify actions that might be taken on personal, cultural and institutional levels to end the tolerance of battering.

  • Mending the Sacred Hoop is a Native owned and operated non-profit 501(c) 3 organization that exists to address violence against Native women and works to end it. We organize on issues surrounding violence against American Indian/Alaska Native women in our home community of Duluth, MN and throughout the State of Minnesota. We also work with Tribes and Native communities nationally that are addressing the issues of domestic and sexual violence, dating violence, sex trafficking and stalking in their communities. We provide training to strengthen Tribal and Native community responses to these crimes, including the advocacy and systems responses, community understanding and awareness, engaging men in the work to end violence against women, and coordinating community responses that provide for women’s safety and uphold offender accountability.

  • The National Indigenous Women's Resource Center, Inc. (NIWRC) is a Native nonprofit organization that was created specifically to serve as the National Indian Resource Center (NIRC) Addressing Domestic Violence and Safety for Indian Women. Under this grant project and in compliance with statutory requirements, the NIWRC will seek to enhance the capacity of American Indian and Alaska Native (Native) tribes, Native Hawaiians, and Tribal and Native Hawaiian organizations to respond to domestic violence. The NIWRC is dedicated to reclaiming the sovereignty of Native nations and safeguarding Native women and their children. Through public awareness and resource development, training and technical assistance, policy development, and research activities.

  • his hotline and crisis center was created in March 2017 by support from the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Family and Youth Services Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Verizon. StrongHearts is a culturally-appropriate, anonymous, confidential service dedicated to serving Native American survivors of domestic violence and 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.

Resource Collections

The below collections contain resources organized by topic area.

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