News Release

Urban Indian Health Institute

Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI) released a report on May 5 titled Supporting the Sacred: Womxn of Resilience with results from a small grant program that included a survey of 121 Indigenous women survivors of sexual violence to get a better understanding of the services available and needed to heal from their experiences.

Link to report: https://www.uihi.org/projects/protecting-the-sacred/

The report shares stories from survivors about the cultural services, programs, traditional medicines, and activities that have helped them in their journey to heal. The report also provides recommendations for programs serving Native survivors of sexual violence, as well as funders of domestic violence programs.

Findings from the survey show that self-care — activities and practices that uplift physical, spiritual, and mental well-being — was the highest need for survivors, followed by mental health services.

“I am humbled by the resilience of our Native sisters who shared their stories with us,” said Abigail Echo-Hawk, director of Urban Indian Health Institute and co-author of the report. “Their stories are a gift and will help others heal.”

Urban Indian Health Institute released the report in honor of the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG).

“As progress continues to be made around MMIWG, we must also bring attention to the surrounding factors that put our Indigenous sisters in harm’s way,” Echo-Hawk said. “Seventeen percent of these survivors reported their physical safety was at risk because of COVID-19. It is going to take further commitments from governments and funders to end all forms of violence if we are ever going to begin preventing MMIWG cases rather than just trying to solve them.”

Recent research conducted on the impact of COVID-19 nationally shows an 8.1% increase in domestic violence across all races.

Urban Indian Health Institute has released two reports that brought attention to the MMIWG crisis in urban areas and highlighted issues in the collection of MMIWG data.

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