Report

Reconnecting with Native Teachings and Creating Healing Spaces with and for 2S+/LGBTQ+ Victim-Survivors of Domestic Violence - Summary of Conversations with the Field

cover of summary, graphic of 3 people

Since 2019, the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC), the National LGBTQ Institute on Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), and the Avellaka Program’s Rainbow of Truth Circle of the La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians have collaborated on a project examining the unique needs of Native 2-Spirit+ and LGBTQ survivors (2S+/LGBTQ+) of gender-based violence. Very few formal resources exist to support this community, so this project aims to improve the capacity of the best safety net to support Native 2S+/LGBTQ+ survivors: family and friends. Acknowledging this gap, our agencies began drafting a toolkit for family and friends to learn how to support and protect Native 2S+/LGBTQ+ survivors.

To further develop the toolkit and ensure its cultural relevance, we held two Conversations with the Field (CWTF). The Conversation with the Field (CWTF) is a facilitation tool developed by NIWRC for organizing national dialogue related to the domestic and gender-based violence movement. The CWTF discussion groups (DGs) are utilized to develop the structure of a national platform of current and emerging issues of concern and recommendations to increase the safety of victims-survivors of domestic and gender-based violence. Typically, these DGs begin with an overview, followed by discussion, and then a summary.

Our main goal of the CWTF was to inform the development and refinement of the family and friends toolkit. We wanted to learn more about what families and friends need to support Indigenous 2S+/LGBTQ+ victim-survivors of domestic and gender-based violence. Specifically, we wanted to learn about what families and friends need so they can take an active role to reduce isolation, assist with safety planning, provide survivors with validation, encouragement and long-term support, and avoid victim-blaming.

This is a summary of the written and verbal responses from participants at both CWTF sessions. Because answers overlapped across several of the questions, we provide the key themes related to how families and friends can support Indigenous 2S+/LGBTQ+ survivors and available resources for Indigenous 2S+/LGBTQ+ survivors.

 Artwork created by Neebin Southall (neebin.com). Cover collaboratively created by Neebin Southall and Zinaida Carroll, NIWRC.