A hotline is now available to specifically help Native American survivors of domestic and dating violence.
StrongHearts Native Helpline‘s initial service area is Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska.
“One of the problems in Indian Country is there’s a huge lack of services, and there really hasn’t been any efforts to create a database that pulls together all of the resources that are available,” said StrongHearts Assistant Director Lori Jump.
Jump said violence against women is an epidemic in Indian Country.
“Native American women are two times as likely as any other race to experience rape or sexual assault, two and a half times more likely to experience violent crime and five times more likely to be the victim of homicide,” Jump said. “So, we have an incredible need for services in our communities.”
The helpline will connect callers with confidential, culturally appropriate support services. Some of those services are meant to help sort out complicated matters of jurisdiction.
“The ability of Native governments to prosecute is pretty restricted in terms of who they can prosecute, especially when it comes to non-Native perpetrators,” Jump said.
The helpline is available at 1-844-7NATIVE Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Callers outside those hours can connect with the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
StrongHearts is offered by The National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center and the National Domestic Violence Hotline. It receives some funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.