- By Native News Online Staff
EGAN, Minn. — With domestic and dating violence on the rise during the COVID-10 pandemic, a helpline for Native American victims has accelerated the launch of a new online chat feature.
StrongHearts Native Helpline (1-844-762-8483), a culturally appropriate domestic violence helpline for Native Americans, launched the new chat advocacy tool on Monday morning. The new service enables victim-survivors, friends and relatives to connect with an advocate using an online chat service. Users can connect with a highly-trained advocate in a free, anonymous and confidential one-on-one chat session.
There is no need to download an app or any software to use it. Users can simply click the Chat Now icon on the StrongHearts Native Helpline website daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT.
This new tool increases accessibility for individuals who may be hearing impaired or those who may be uncomfortable or unable to vocalize a call for support.
“StrongHearts is really proud to be increasing access to our culturally-appropriate advocacy services during a time of great need,” said Liz Carr (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians), senior Native affairs advisor. “Implementation of digital advocacy not only enhances our ability to provide advocacy services but also improves accessibility for survivors by offering a new way to reach out.”
Carr added that the order to shelter-in-place created yet another barrier to using a phone to access advocacy services and that without an alternative option, survivors were at a greater risk.
According to StrongHearts Services Coordinator Joy Samuelson (Standing Rock Sioux Tribe), the general advocacy skills used by the advocates will be the same, but prompt responses via text will be key to providing contacts with the same level of support services they would get when calling StrongHearts.
“I am confident in our advocates and the help they provide our communities,” said Samuelson. “This will truly be an important service we provide, especially given the current state of things with Covid-19. We're hoping to reach more people who may need us.”
Contact StrongHearts Native Helpline at 1-844-7NATIVE (1-844-762-8483) or by clicking on the Chat Now icon found on the homepage of the StrongHearts website located at strongheartshelpline.org.
The StrongHearts Native Helpline is a culturally appropriate, domestic violence and dating violence helpline for Native Americans, available daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. CDT. StrongHearts Native Helpline is a collaborative effort of the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center.
More Stories Like ThisState-Funded Charter School Says Native 1st-Grader's Traditional Hair Violates Dress Code
Rep. Peltola, Sen. Mullin Introduce Legislation to Protect 2nd Amendment Rights of Native Americans
Navajo Nation Mourns Loss of Former President Ben Shelly
Native American Church Chapter Sues Bank for Racial and Religious Discrimination
Legislature Moves to Name Highway after Blackfeet Chief
12 years of Native News
This month, we celebrate our 12th year of delivering Native News to readers throughout Indian Country and beyond. For the past dozen years, we’ve covered the most important news stories that are usually overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the rise of the American Indian Movement (AIM), to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous People (MMIP) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools.
Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation this month to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps. If you’re in a position to do so, we ask you to consider making a recurring donation of $12 per month to help us remain a force for change in Indian Country and to tell the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.
Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.