August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Domestic Violence and Dating Violence: Anniversary of StrongHearts Native Helpline at its new National Headquarters in Eagan, Minnesota

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At an event today at the new national headquarters of the StrongHearts Native Helpline in Eagan, Minnesota (Minneapolis Metro area), the organization announced an increase in its daily operating hours. The new hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CST / 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mountain Time — seven days a week.

The former hours of operation were Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. CST. After hearing from many tribes and advocates about their community needs, the decision was made to increase the Helpline's hours of operation to even better serve those impacted by domestic violence and dating violence in Native communities across the United States.

Domestic violence is a severe issue in tribal communities. Here is the reality:

  • One-half of Native American women and a third of Native men have experienced physical abuse by an intimate partner in their lifetime, according to a study by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ).
  • The NIJ study also found for those who had experienced violence, more than a third of Native women and more than one in six Native men were unable to access the supportive services they needed, such as shelters, legal advocacy and medical services.

Women from the StrongHearts Native Helpline are available for interviews to talk about the following topics:

  • StrongHearts' new national headquarters and how it has increased its number of staff of advocates to respond to callers.
  • Why Minnesota was chosen as the new national headquarters.
  • The extent of domestic violence and dating violence across Indian Country and Alaska and why the increase in StrongHearts' daily operating hours is needed.

About the StrongHearts Native Helpline
Created by and for American Indians and Alaska Natives across the United States, the StrongHearts Native Helpline (1-844-7NATIVE), 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 free, culturally-appropriate and confidential service dedicated to serving Native Americans affected by domestic violence and dating violence. By dialing 1-844-762-8483, anytime from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CST, seven days a week, callers can connect for free, one-on-one, with knowledgeable StrongHearts advocates who can provide immediate, peer-to-peer support and referrals to resources to help callers find safety and healing. Learn more about the StrongHearts Native Helpline at www.strongheartshelpline.org.

With best regards,
Liz Hill (Red Lake Ojibwe)
Public Relations Consultant, StrongHearts Native Helpline
LIZ HILL PUBLIC RELATIONS LLC
(808) 856-6012 (Mobile)

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Media Contact:
Mallory Black (512) 766-7947

For Immediate Release:
StrongHearts Native Helpline Expands Operating Hours In Order To Better Serve Native Americans Impacted By Domestic Violence
Native-centered helpline increases operating hours in response to need for culturally-based support for victims of violence in Indian Country and Alaska 
EAGAN, Minnesota (March 6, 2019)—On its second year anniversary, the StrongHearts Native Helpline (1-844-7NATIVE) is announcing the expansion of its hours of operation, which are now 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CST, seven days a week, in order to better serve those impacted by domestic violence and dating violence in tribal communities across the U.S. Callers reaching out after hours have the option to connect with the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-SAFE) by selecting option 1. To date, the helpline has received more than 2,100 from victims, survivors, concerned family members and friends, service providers and more, helping to close a gap in culturally-appropriate resources for those facing abuse.
With the support from the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the National Indigenous Women's Resource Center, and the Family Violence Prevention and Services Program, StrongHearts has established its first call center located in Eagan, Minnesota. With the expansion in services, StrongHearts has increased its staff of advocates in order to respond to callers, many of whom are seeking support as they navigate difficult barriers to justice and safety. Trained with a strong understanding of tribal cultures, sovereignty and law, advocates offer free, peer-to-peer support and a connection to local, culturally appropriate resources.
"After hearing from so many tribes and advocates about their community needs, we are so pleased to expand our operating hours to better serve Native victims of relationship abuse," said StrongHearts Assistant Director Lori Jump (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians). "Domestic violence impacts our relatives every hour of every day, so it's critical for us to be available as much as possible. Yet, we also understand we can't do this work alone. We are honored to be working alongside tribal advocates and programs doing this good work to help Native people seek lives that are free of abuse."
Domestic violence remains a severe issue in tribal communities, where half of Native American women and a third of Native men have experienced physical abuse by an intimate partner in their lifetime, according to a study by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). The study also found for those who had experienced violence, more than a third of Native women and more than one in six Native men were unable to access the services they needed, such as shelters, legal advocacy and medical services.
"When victims can't access services, more specifically, services that understand their unique worldview and culture, it leaves little room for healing and restoration," Jump said. "Our people are strong and resilient, but it is crucial that we create spaces where survivors of violence feel safe and empowered to make the best decisions for themselves and their families along their healing journey, wherever it leads. We are here for our relatives. No one should have to face violence alone." 
About the StrongHearts Native Helpline
Created by and for American Indians and Alaska Natives across the United States, the StrongHearts Native Helpline (1-844-7NATIVE, or 1-844-762-8483), 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 free, culturally-appropriate and confidential service dedicated to serving Native Americans affected by domestic violence and dating violence. By dialing 1-844-762-8483, anytime from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CST, seven days a week, callers can connect for free, one-on-one, with knowledgeable StrongHearts advocates who can provide peer-to-peer support and referrals to resources to help callers find safety and healing. After hours callers have the option to connect with the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1−800−799−SAFE) or call back the next business day. 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. 
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