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Frequently Asked Questions

What is StrongHearts Native Helpline and who do you help?

We are a national domestic and sexual violence helpline that is culturally-appropriate for Native Americans and Alaska Natives. Our advocates are available 24/7 in service of Native Americans, but we are happy to help all of our contacts regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation. We help concerned friends and relatives understand how best to support a victim-survivor or someone who is abusing their partner to talk about change and find help.

What does “culturally-appropriate for Native Americans” mean?

Culturally-appropriate for Native Americans means our organization was built by Natives for Natives. Our advocates are trained specifically to meet the cultural needs of Native Americans and Alaska Natives. As such, our advocates are trained to help anyone impacted by domestic and sexual violence including:

StrongHearts Native Helpline is dedicated to helping Native American and Alaska Natives, but is committed to helping anyone in need of assistance. Calls are safe, confidential, and anonymous. Our support and advocacy services are provided free of charge. However, text and data rates may apply.

What can you do for me?

StrongHearts advocates serve many different callers. Our advocates are here to help any Native American or Alaska Native impacted by domestic or sexual violence in whatever way they need. However, we assist all of our contacts and never turn away anyone in need of help.

Our advocates are here to support contacts through any part of an abusive relationship. They are available 24/7 and provide culturally-specific peer support, safety planning, domestic violence and healthy relationship education and help finding direct services in the contact’s area, and of course, to listen.

In addition to helping someone who is being hurt in an abusive relationship, our advocates can help an advocate find additional resources, a friend understand how best to support a victim-survivor and talk to someone who is abusing their partner and is seeking help.

Do you provide in-person services?

As a national helpline, we do not provide in-person services. Our advocacy services are available 24/7 by phone, chat or text. When possible we refer our contacts to service providers nearest to the caller's location.

What can you do for service providers?

In addition to helping someone who is being hurt in an abusive relationship, our advocates can help other advocates find additional resources.

Are you a mandated reporter?

StrongHearts Native Helpline is a mandated reporter. However, as an anonymous and confidential helpline, StrongHearts advocates do not request or record the contact’s identification and/or address. Disclosure of personal identification and location could compromise the safety of all victim-survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

Can I report elder abuse to you?

StrongHearts Native Helpline is not a central intake unit for adult and/or child abuse, neglect and/or exploitation. However, advocates follow established protocols to ensure the safety of all victim-survivors of domestic and sexual violence. For more information, please contactNational Adult Protective Services at 202-370-6292.

Who do you help?

StrongHearts is happy to serve anyone impacted by domestic and sexual violence but we are specifically culturally-appropriate for Native Americans.

Do you recommend other culturally-appropriate helplines?

There are a few other national domestic violence culturally-appropriate organizations for other ethnic and racial groups.

Are your advocates Native American?

Our advocates are Native American and/or have a strong connection to Native American or Alaska Native cultures.

Where are you located?

StrongHearts Native Helpline is headquartered in the greater Minneapolis/St. Paul area on the ancestral lands of the Sioux Santee (Eastern Dakota) Wahpekute (Waȟpékhute) peoples.

How do I get enrolled in a Tribe? How do I find out if I am Native? How do I find out what Tribe I am affiliated with?

StrongHearts is an anonymous helpline for Native Americans impacted by domestic, dating and sexual violence. We do not require proof of enrollment or Tribal affiliation. Nor do we assist with the process of enrollment or ancestry.

For more information about enrollment and Tribal affiliation, contact the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street, N.W. MS-4606, Washington, D.C. 20240 Telephone: 202-208-5116 or visit BIA.gov.

How do I get benefits for being Native American or Alaska Native?

If you are affiliated with a Tribe, our advocates will discuss Tribal services that may be available specifically for domestic and sexual violence.

While many Tribal nations offer services to their citizens, proof of Tribal affiliation is often required to access those services; and, due to confidentiality issues, StrongHearts Native Helpline can not assist in seeking additional information regarding Tribal affiliation, enrollment status, services and criteria.

What is the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives movement about?

The missing and murdered movement has risen to the national level and has become known by various acronyms including MMIW, MMIWG, MMIW2S, MMIP and MMIR to name a few. Their common goal is to shed light onto the unjust treatment of all Indigenous peoples - whether women, girls, boys, men and Two-Spirit who are often ignored when one goes missing. The missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls movement originally surfaced in Canada, but has become recognized as the shared experience across the nation spilling into other border countries where Spanish and European invasions were prevalent.

According to the National Institute of Justice, the murder rate among Indigenous women and girls is known to be 10 times higher than the national average. It has been estimated that up to 75 percent of those murders were linked to a current or former intimate partner.

StrongHearts advocates are aware of these statistics and understand the importance of maintaining safety, providing peer support and assisting with safety planning. However, in cases of an emergency, advocates will advise you to call 911 immediately.

What is a referral line and is StrongHearts a referral line?

A referral line connects callers to appropriate agencies and organizations to help meet their needs.

StrongHearts Native Helpline is not a referral line. We are a domestic and sexual violence helpline that provides peer support and a safe space where contacts can be heard. StrongHearts advocates assist with physical and emotional safety planning and provides domestic and sexual violence education. Referrals to Native-centered service providers are made based upon an assessment of available resources and what the contact determines would be useful.

StrongHearts Native Helpline provides culturally-appropriate domestic and sexual violence service and works diligently to identifiy, incorporate and maintain a nationwide data base with Native-centered service providers across the United States.

As the only nationwide domestic and sexual violence helpline for Native Americans, we recognize that there is an unfathomable disparity in resources. As such, StrongHearts advocates strive to assist Native American and Alaska Native victim-survivors to their fullest capabilities. It is important to note that so far, the number one service that we provide is peer support.