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News Release

Urban Indian Health Institute

Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI) released a report highlighting the experiences of direct-service providers who work with Native survivors of violence. The report, developed in partnership with the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC), highlights available resources and ways programs, communities, legislators, and funders can better support Native survivors.

The report reveals a number of factors to address and meet the needs of Native survivors, including centering culture as a core part of service; increased access to housing and stability; direct legal representation; improved flexibility of grant funds; expanded LGBTQ2S+ services; and including Native youth and men in community prevention.

The report is accompanied by an Indigenous evaluation framework, which is intended for programs and service providers to incorporate Indigenous knowledge and community-centered practices into their care, as well as ways to collect more accurate data regarding Native people. 

“It is an important time for our communities to have access to these resources,” said Abigail Echo-Hawk (Pawnee), director of Urban Indian Health Institute. “More than 730,000 Native women are impacted by violence every year in the United States. It’s going to take action by Native and non-Native groups for our communities to begin healing.”

The report comes in light of the bipartisan reintroduction of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which is now in the Senate, and other congressional bills, which would expand resources for victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence.

VAWA has been heavily supported by tribes and urban Indian groups over the years. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, more than four in five American Indian and Alaska Native adults have experienced some form violence in their lifetime, and Native women are two to three times more likely to experience violence than any other race.

In 2021, Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal introduced the Survivors’ Access to Supportive Care Act (SASCA), which would develop national standards around the care for survivors of sexual assault and expand access to sexual assault examination services, including to Native communities.

“The Survivors’ Access to Supportive Care Act is bipartisan and addresses critical needs for survivors of sexual violence,” said Congresswoman Jaypal. “It’s long overdue that we address gaps in resources that have left too many survivors without the ability to get the care and justice they deserve.”

“As a survivor myself, I am dedicated to ensuring Native communities have access to the resources and services they need,” said Abigail Echo-Hawk (Pawnee), director of Urban Indian Health Institute.” The Violence Against Women Act and Survivors’ Access to Supportive Care Act are great starts, but as our reports highlight, there is a lot more work to do to serve Native survivors of sexual violence. We can and should do more to help our communities heal.” 

About Urban Indian Health Institute

Urban Indian Health Institute is a Public Health Authority and one of 12 Tribal Epidemiology Centers in the country. It conducts research and evaluation, collects and analyzes data, and provides disease surveillance and resources to strengthen the health of urban American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Urban Indian Health Institute is a national leader in the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls movement and advocates for improved data practices that seek to protect Native women and girls from violence.

Link to Service as Ceremony: A Journey Toward Healing:

Link to Building the Sacred: An Indigenous Evaluation Framework for Programs Serving Native Survivors of Violence:

Link to Urban Indian Health Institute website:

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