Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative


The primary mission of this program is: 

  1. Build capacity to provide coordinated community responses to American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) survivors of domestic and sexual violence
  2. Increase access to domestic and sexual violence prevention, advocacy, crisis intervention, and behavioral health services for AI/AN survivors and their families.
  3. Promote trauma-informed services for AI/AN survivors of domestic and sexual violence and their families.
  4. Offer health care provider and community education on domestic and sexual violence.
  5. Respond to the health care needs of AI/AN survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
  6. Incorporate culturally appropriate practices and/or faith-based services for AI/AN survivors of domestic and sexual violence.


  1. Equality
    In a healthy relationship, you and your partner should view each other as equals. One partner should not see themselves as “better” or “higher" in the relationship. It's also important that there should not be any large power imbalances, and if there are, these should be addressed head-on and the couple should work to ameliorate these power imbalances within the context of the relationship.
  2. Respect
    There must be respect for each other in your relationship. You and your partner should respect each other not only as partners, but as human beings and as unique individuals. This includes respecting each other's personal dignity, wishes, and seeing value in each other.
  3. Mutuality
    Similar to equality, both partners in a healthy relationship direct the relationship as equals. Both of you should have say and input into the relationship and develop it together. No one person should be making all the decisions. Each partner has control in the relationship but is not controlling.
  4. Communication
    Communication is a key part of any relationship, but is especially important in intimate relationships. You and your partner should feel comfortable expressing your thoughts and feelings to each other. A couple in a healthy relationship may still have arguments, but they can either work these out through communication or agree to disagree in a constructive way.
  5. Trust
    Being able to trust your partner is key in a healthy relationship. Trust is established over the course of a relationship through showing consistency in words and actions. Trust in a relationship can be difficult, but it is extremely important.
  6. Responsibility & Accountability
    In a healthy relationship, each person should be responsible and accountable to the other person. This means taking responsibility and being accountable for their own actions and the consequences, and not placing the blame elsewhere. This can include owning up to and admitting mistakes. This does not mean that each partner needs to constantly check in or report to the other person.
  7. Support
    A good, healthy relationship should make you feel supported! Your partner should be there for you in tough times and vice versa. Couples in healthy relationships can support each other in the good times by offering encouragement and enthusiasm. Your relationship should encourage each of you to grow – separately and together.
  8. Honesty
    Honesty is super important in a healthy relationship! You can't build a good foundation on lies.
  9. Boundaries
    While you and your partner obviously should enjoy spending time with each other, each of you should also lead independent lives. You should each spend time apart from each other and have friends. Maintaining your own friends and separate interests can be a form of having boundaries. Additionally, with regard to physical involvement, you and your partner should be able to set boundaries with each other about what you're both comfortable with and not comfortable with and these boundaries should be respected by all partners.
  10. Non-threatening behavior
    You should always feel safe in your relationship. You should never have to worry that your partner is going to intentionally harm you. Neither partner should try to maintain power and control over the other.


Within the natural system of life, tribal people lived together peacefully and violence within the family was rare. Though cultures and customs vary from tribe to tribe, the core belief systems of tribes are extremely similar because they are based on the natural and true understanding of reality. People received many teachings from the family and community that helped them learn how to be good relatives to each other. When violence against a woman did occur, the People responded. Violence was and is a threat to the harmony needed to survive as tribal Nations. In many tribes, the abuser could be banished, ostracized or retaliation was left to the male relatives of the victim, A man who was violent within the family was not seen as capable of any leadership responsibilities. He had demonstrated that he did not possess the self-discipline, respect, caring or spiritual understanding to effectively lead the People. The abuse of Indian women and children can be traced to the introduction of alcohol into our culture and Christianity. Many native people learned about violence in boarding schools. Boarding school distorted the ability to act as parents, sons, daughters - as relatives, Traditional parenting was nonviolent and nurtured the spirit of the child. This knowledge was replaced with experiences of corporal punishment that reflected the teachings of the church.

Additionally, the reservation era diminished the traditional male role of protector and provider. This loss was replaced by the dominant society's negative attitudes, beliefs and behaviors toward women. According to a study from the National Institute of Justice, some 84 percent of American Indian and Alaska Native women have experienced violence in their lifetime, and more than half have endured this violence at the hands of an intimate partner. More than two-thirds of the women, or 66 percent, say they have been the victims of psychological aggression by a partner. In addition, more than half of all Native women who have experienced abuse say they have also endured sexual assault, and another 48 percent have been stalked. The majority of these cases of abuse nearly 97 percent—have been committed by non-Native individuals. And until an expanded version of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) passed in 2013, tribal courts in the 566 federally-recognized Native American tribes across the country did not have jurisdiction over non-Indian perpetrators. This meant these non-Native offenders were essentially granted immunity for their crimes.

Events Coming Soon


National Indigenous Women's Resource Center

Indian Health Service

National Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence

Office on Violence against Women

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Tribal Court Clearing House

Administration for Native Americans

Mending the Sacred Hoop

Strong Hearted Native Women's Coalition Inc


For general inquiries, please contact Research and Public Health Deputy Director, Kathleen Jack at 916-929-9761 ext. 1502 or