Native American Services
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Free, confidential support services dedicated to serving Native American and Alaska Native survivors and concerned family members and friends affected by domestic, dating and sexual violence. Advocates are available 24/7 by texting or calling 1-844-7NATIVE (1-844-762-8483) or via online chat at

StrongHearts Native Helpline is a project of the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center.


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Common tactics of abuse against Native Americans and Alaska Natives include:


Abusive partners may control what you can do (including work or school) and who you can see or communicate with. Jealousy is often used as a justification for efforts to isolate someone.


Looks, actions, gestures, or behaviors may be used to intimidate you, including destroying property, abusing pets, or flaunting weapons.

Emotional abuse

Insults, gaslighting, name-calling, humiliation, coercion, or threats may all be used by abusive partners. This may also include threats or actions by abusive partners to harm you or others, as well as threats to leave, commit suicide, report partner(s) to law enforcement, or forcing you to perform illegal acts.

Minimizing abuse, lying about abusive behaviors, or blaming you for their abuse

Abusive partners frequently try to avoid taking responsibility for their actions and may use a variety of methods to deflect attention from their behaviors.

Using children

Abusive partners may try to make you feel guilty over your children, use your children to manipulate situations, or threaten to harm or take your children away.

Financial abuse

Abusive partners may take money from you or make you financially dependent. Abusive partners may also prevent you from working or going to school in order to further isolate you financially and socially.

Cultural abuse

In Native communities, this can include intimidation or lateral violence over “Indian-ness” or “blood quantum,” or use of culture to enforce colonized gender roles. An abusive partner may also use hurtful stereotypes to criticize you such as “Indians are drunks, lazy,” etc. They may tell you that you’re not allowed to drum, dance, sing, fast, or otherwise participate in traditions.

Spiritual abuse

Spiritual abuse refers to the invocation of spirituality or religion as abuse. This can look different depending on context and the abusive partner but could include prayers against you, telling you that your prayers or beliefs have no purpose or value, preventing you from practicing your spiritual or tribal beliefs, or misrepresenting spiritual or tribal beliefs or values to get you to do something you don’t want to do. An abusive partner may also tell you that you cannot attend ceremony or visit sacred places.

Abuse in Native Communities

Consistent with current and historical efforts to oppress and displace Native peoples in the United States and elsewhere, Native Americans and Alaska Natives are particularly impacted by domestic violence and dating violence.

Studies suggest survivors make up more than 84 percent of the entire U.S. Native population.

Native communities continue to flourish through the individual and collective efforts of diverse tribal communities. StrongHearts Native Helpline was created by and for Native Americans to provide meaningful support for Native survivors, who are twice as likely to experience rape or sexual assault, two and a half times more likely to experience violent crimes, and five times more likely to be victims of homicide in their lifetimes compared to all other races in the country, all in the context of varying cultural beliefs, stigmas, relationships, and dynamics.

Advocates at StrongHearts are trained to navigate your specific situation with a strong understanding of Native cultures, as well as issues of tribal sovereignty and the law. They treat each contact with the same dignity, compassion, and respect as advocates from The Hotline, and maintain the same accepting environment free of assumption and judgement.