Dating abuse helpline
On some reservations, Native women are murdered at a rate 10 times higher than the national average.In addition to the statistics offered by Strong Hearts, the organization also offered comments on specific topics related to teen dating violence from the staff.
Marie Chippewa), Assistant Director of the Strong Hearts Native Helpline“It can be hard to know what to say or do when a young one is being abused by their boyfriend or girlfriend.You may even begin to believe you have done something to deserve the abuse.No matter the reason for the abuse, dating violence is not our traditional way, and it is never okay.As the month of February comes to a close, the Strong Hearts Native Helpline — a free, culturally-appropriate, anonymous and confidential service dedicated to serving Native American survivors of domestic violence and dating violence — is encouraging Native teens to be aware of teen dating violence as well as resources that exist in order to promote healthy relationships.“Our young relatives deserve safe and healthy relationships,” said organizers of Strong Hearts to Indian Country Today in an email.
“Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, also known as Teen DVAM, is observed in February as a national effort to raise awareness and prevent dating violence in teen and young people’s relationships and to promote healthy relationships.”According to statistics on teen violence among Native American and Alaska Native youth compiled by the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center: More than 40 percent of Native children experience two or more acts of violence by the age of 18.
What can begin as a pattern of teasing or name-calling between a boyfriend or girlfriend can escalate into more harmful behavior down the road.