Created by and for Native Americans in response to the severe rates of intimate partner violence in Tribal communities, the StrongHearts Native Helpline has now received more than 5,000 calls since it opened the lines on March 6, 2017.
The helpline can be accessed anonymously by dialing 1-844-7NATIVE (762-8483), serving victim-survivors, concerned family members and friends, youth and teens, adults and elders by offering a direct, culturally-based support line available 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Central time, 365 days a year. Callers reaching out after hours are provided with an option to connect with the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-SAFE) by selecting option 1.
StrongHearts Native advocates—grounded in a strong understanding of Native cultures, sovereignty and traditions—are specially trained to provide callers with emotional support, crisis intervention, personalized safety planning, and a connection to a Native and Tribal service provider if needed.
“Providing a safe and confidential space for Native women and men to talk openly about the abuse experienced in their intimate relationships is crucial,” said Lori Jump, Assistant Director for the StrongHearts Native Helpline. “We know many Native people hesitate to reach out for help for fear of their abusive partner finding out or because they have been failed by the system so much that they don’t believe reaching out will do much of anything. This is why the StrongHearts Native Helpline exists—to validate a Native victim in their experience of intimate partner violence and support them on their journey to healing.”
The mission of StrongHearts Native Helpline is to restore power to Native American people impacted by domestic violence and dating violence by weaving together a braid of safety, sovereignty and support for callers. Since March 2017, of the 485 Native victims reaching out for assistance*:
- 9 out of 10 needed emotional support (92%);
- 1 in 2 needed personalized safety planning (55%);
- 2 out of 5 needed domestic violence education (43%);
- About 1 in 3 needed crisis de-escalation (30%).
Native advocates further provide a connection to culturally-appropriate and Tribal-based service providers to support callers in a culturally-rooted way. To date, StrongHearts has identified 257 Native providers for American Indian and Alaska Native people, and the helpline’s Native advocates have made 2,124 referrals to these services for callers.
As a collaborative project of the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Family and Youth Services Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, all helpline services are available free of charge.
*Statistics reflect only data that was self-disclosed by the contact and does not necessarily represent every call to StrongHearts.
Recognizing Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2019
Every October, advocates and communities from across Indian country and the United States rally together in honor of survivors of domestic violence and support of abuse prevention as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). This month, the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC), the Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center (AKNWRC) and the StrongHearts Native Helpline are calling on advocates, community members, Tribal leaders, service providers and Native organizations to rise up in support of the Movement to prevent and end domestic violence, which disproportionately affects millions of American Indian and Alaska Native people each year.
Across the nation, Native American women and men experience domestic violence and sexual assault at alarming rates, with more than 4 in 5 Native people having experienced some form of violence in their lifetime and more than half experiencing physical violence by an intimate partner in the past year. To bring awareness to the issues of violence in Indian country, NIWRC, AKNWRC and StrongHearts urge individuals to believe survivors, speak out about abuse and share supportive resources with their loved ones and communities.
DOWNLOAD… the StrongHearts Native Helpline Service Provider Toolkit for ideas and tips for sharing the helpline with clients and colleagues. To download the toolkit, visit www.strongheartshelpline.org/resources to access a PDF of the toolkit.
WEAR… purple in honor of survivors of domestic violence and to raise awareness for DVAM on #PurpleThursday, which takes place on Thursday, October 24, 2019. Share photos of yourself wearing purple—shawls, clothes, hats, nail polish and jewelry—online using the hashtag #PurpleThursday.
EXPLORE… the StrongHearts Blog for culturally-relevant information related to domestic violence, dating violence and healthy relationships in Indian country. Content from the StrongHearts Blog can be accessed at www.strongheartshelpline.org/blog and may be repurposed as long as the StrongHearts Native Helpline is cited as the source.
LISTEN… for Senior Native Affairs Policy Advisor Liz Carr, who will be talking about the StrongHearts Native Helpline and Domestic Violence Awareness Month on the radio program “Moccasin Tracks” with host Deb Reger on Monday, October 7, at approximately 9:30 a.m. Eastern time. “Moccasin Tracks” broadcasts from WRUV 90.1 FM in Burlington, Vermont. Listen to the live stream online at www.wruv.org.
WATCH… a DVAM awareness video sharing a powerful message that ‘Abuse Isn’t Only Physical’ featuring youth from the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians in Oregon, who collaborated with We R Native, Sky Bear Media, StrongHearts and the Response Circles Project of the National Portland Area Indian Health Board to create the video. View the full-length video on We R Native’s YouTube channel: http://yt.vu/c/UCIxRTVKkCkedeQr6WA8sWlQ
SHARE… the StrongHearts Native Helpline number—1-844-7NATIVE (762-8483)—with family and community members in need. If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, call the StrongHearts Native Helpline at 1-844-7NATIVE (762-8483) to speak with a Native advocate for safe and confidential support, available 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Central time, 365 days a year.