StrongHearts Celebrates 35 Years of FVPSA: Safe Services and Stronger Community Connections for All
The StrongHearts Native Helpline (1-844-7NATIVE) – a culturally-appropriate domestic violence and dating violence helpline created by and for Native Americans – joins in the celebration of 35th anniversary of the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA). FVPSA is the primary federal funding stream dedicated to the support of emergency shelter and related assistance for victims of domestic violence and their children, the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and the StrongHearts Native Helpline.
American Indian and Alaska Native people face some of the highest rates of domestic violence in the nation. Given the high rates of domestic violence in Indian Country, the Family Violence and Prevention Services Program—which administers the FVPSA—together with the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center recognized the need for a culturally-specific helpline for American Indian and Alaska Native victims and survivors of domestic violence as they navigate difficult barriers to justice and safety.
Launched in March 2017, the StrongHearts Native Helpline (StrongHearts) began providing callers culturally-based support for intimate partner violence and a connection to Native resources. Grounded in an understanding of Native cultures, tribal sovereignty and traditions, the helpline’s Native advocates are specially trained to provide callers with emotional support, crisis intervention, personalized safety planning, and a referral to a Native and Tribal service provider if needed.
Native Americans have historically lacked access to services such as shelters, legal advocacy and medical services. StrongHearts works to close the gap by serving as a lifeline in connecting callers with culturally-based support services based on their community and culture. More than 5,000 people have reached out to the helpline so far.
This past spring, the StrongHearts Native Helpline increased its hours of operation to be available every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT. The announcement coincided with StrongHearts’ Second Anniversary Open House event on March 6, 2019, marking the opening of helpline’s first call center in Eagan, Minnesota, made possible with support from FVPSA.
On October 15, 2019, at 2 p.m. EST, join us for the free webinar, 35 Years of FVPSA: Safe Services and Stronger Community Connections for All, as we reflect on 35 years of FVPSA and highlight accomplishments in supporting domestic violence survivors and their children within local communities and sovereign nations. Speakers—including the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, the Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center and the StrongHearts Native Helpline—will celebrate the successes of domestic violence programs while recognizing that the need for services and supports remains as great as ever.