Domestic Violence

To get help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1-800-799-7233 and/or WomenSpirit Coalition, 360-633-7083.

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is when someone uses power and control tactics to control another. It can be actual physical violence or other types of abuse. Partners may be married or not married; heterosexual, gay, or lesbian; living together, separated, or dating. Some violence is criminal but other behavior is abuse (emotional, psychological, and financial), which is not criminal but can lead to criminal violence. The violence/abuse takes many forms and can happen all the time or once in a while.

Victims of domestic violence can be of any age, sex, race, culture, religion, education, employment, or marital status. Although both men and women can be abused, most victims are women. Children in homes where there is domestic violence are more likely to be abused and/or neglected. Most children in these homes know about the violence. Even if a child is not physically harmed, they may have emotional and behavior problems.

Domestic Violence/Abuse Examples

  • Physical assault – hitting, pushing, shoving, etc.
  • Threats of physical harm
  • Sexual assault – unwanted or forced sexual activity
  • Name-calling or putdowns
  • Keeping a partner from contacting family or friends
  • Withholding money
  • Stopping a partner from getting or keeping a job
  • Stalking

To Get Help

To get help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1-800-799-7233 and/or WomenSpirit Coalition, 360-633-7083.

For Tribes/Organizations

Current statistics report high incidences of domestic violence against American Indian women that is 3.5 time the average of other races. According to an Amnesty International Report – Maze of Injustice 2007, “Violence against Native women is characteristically under-reported. Barriers to reporting include:

  • Fear of breaches in confidentiality
  • Fear of retaliation
  • Lack of confidence that reports will be taken seriously and result in perpetrators being brought to justice

For Native American and Alaska Native women, historical relations with federal and state government agencies also affect the level of reporting of sexual violence.”

The report states, “Indigenous women or women from racially or ethnically marginalized groups may fear State authority, if the police have traditionally used coercive and violent means of criminal enforcement in their communities.” Radhika Coomaraswarmy, then UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, July 2012.

WomenSpirit Coalition (WSC) can help Tribes and other organizations find ways to stop domestic violence against Native women, and bring perpetrators to justice. WSC offers staff training and program development consultation. We host conferences and community events for staff and tribal community members to address domestic violence and offer solutions. Please call us, 360-683-2254.