• September 2012
  • Vol. 13, No. 8

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Preventing Domestic and Sexual Violence in Indian Country

A bulletin prepared by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and the Alaska Native Epidemiology Center presents data about domestic and sexual violence among Native Americans. The brief is the first publication to present, in one place, data on rates of violence against American Indians of all ages. Information about violence prevention resources and research, screening resources, and services is also included. 

In the United States, domestic violence against Native American and Alaska Native women is roughly three times higher than rates of violence against White women. There are several barriers to providing violence prevention services to the American Indian population, including geographical isolation, lack of law enforcement and child advocacy centers, lack of prosecution resources, and more. Beginning with pregnancy and ending with the elder years, the issue brief provides information on the rate of domestic and sexual violence against each Native age group, the effects of violence at the respective life stage, and prevention strategies. Examples of prevention programs targeting specific age groups are also highlighted.

Recommendations for enhancing domestic and sexual violence prevention among American Indians include the following:

  • Health-care facilities, including Tribal Health Organizations, should screen individuals for violence exposure. Best practice screening protocols should be implemented and applied to every age group to help identify victims, offer assistance, and make referrals.
  • Tribes, States, and other organizations should increase collaboration to investigate both domestic and sexual violence, their effects, and risk factors. Risk factors for substance abuse and suicide also should be investigated.
  • Tribes and States should evaluate services and initiatives to assess their efficacy in meeting the needs of the Native American population.

Healthy Native Families: Preventing Violence at All Ages is available on the Alaska Native Epidemiology Center website:

http://www.anthctoday.org/epicenter/assets/healthyFamilies/DVSAbulletinFinalLarge.pdf (9 MB)

A list of Tribal programs focused on domestic and sexual violence, child abuse, and healthy relationships—including contact information for programs in each region of Alaska—is also available on the Alaska Native Epidemiology Center website:

http://www.anthctoday.org/epicenter/alaskanativefamilies.html

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