- Associated Press - Monday, September 18, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A new hotline has launched in New Mexico to assist Native American women who have experienced domestic violence or sexual abuse.

Fifty-six percent of Native American women are physically abused by an intimate partner, KRQE-TV reported (https://bit.ly/2fePExZ). Native Americans make up 10 percent of New Mexico’s population, and the service is needed in the state, said Cheyenne Antonio with the Red Nation activist group.

Advocates from the new StrongHeart Native Helpline are familiar with native culture and tribal sovereignty and are knowledgeable about jurisdiction issues, said Deleana Otherbull, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native American Women in Albuquerque. The advocates will guide women through getting away safely from their situation.

“Sometimes, victims have a hard time channeling resources because maybe they live in a small community,” she said. “This kind of takes the stigma off of that.”

Antonio and Otherbull hope that the hotline will fill in a gap in services available to victims of domestic violence.

The StrongHeart hotline number is 1-844-762-8483. It is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. People who call after hours will be transferred to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

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Information from: KRQE-TV, https://www.krqe.com


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