Serving Native Women and Children Exposed to Domestic Violence


Here are some ways you can better serve Native women and children exposed to domestic violence:

Research the unique history of Native Americans in the United States for an understanding of the underlying issues around domestic violence in Tribal communities. For an excellent introduction, download Introductory Manual to Domestic Violence in Indian Country (2003) by Mending the Sacred Hoop Technical Assistance Project.

Learn about the cross-jurisdictional issues between Tribal and non-Tribal law enforcement and courts, which can leave some Native battered women vulnerable.

Bring in Tribal representatives to train your staff on how to be more culturally sensitive. Given the often close-knit nature of Tribal communities, keep in mind that confidentiality is of utmost importance.

Hire a culturally representative and bilingual staff and allow them to provide guidance on facilities, outreach, policies, and procedures.

Make traditional healers available for Tribal women, who may feel uncomfortable with Western services and counseling.

Create a supportive community of Native women. By fleeing their homes, Native women often lose a highly developed support system of extended family, which can leave them feeling adrift.

National Clearinghouse on Families & Youth | 5515 Security Lane, Suite 800 | North Bethesda, MD 20852 | (301) 608-8098 |