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Best Practices in Use


Clothesline project

Description: A national campaign started in 1990 to address the issue of violence against women. It is a visual display of art created on t-shirts by survivors of physical, sexual and emotional violence to express their feelings and stories of abuse and survival. The shirts are hung on a clothesline to be viewed by the public as testimonies to the problem of interpersonal violence and to let those who may suffer in silence know that they are not alone.

Tribes Using Practice: Chickasaw Nation


Co-Dependent No More

Description: Codependency causes a cycle of destructive behavior between manipulators and enablers that helps no one and can destroy relationships and lives. Substance abuse can make codependent relationships even worse. Codependency treatment helps participants learn to have healthier relationships and is associated with better outcomes for drug abuse treatment.

Tribes Using Practice: Fort Belknap Tribal Health Family Violence Prevention DVPI


Documentaries and Educational-Awareness Building Videos

Used in community-wide awareness and education campaigns.

Hollow Water (Local PP) is a real-life story of a small Ojibway community in Canada near Lake Winnipeg owning up to a decades old crime of sexual abuse to about two-thirds of its 450 inhabitants. Most of the victims were children. Many offenders were brought before the criminal justice system of Manitoba, tried, found guilty and sentenced to jail terms. Its focus on the sentencing and healing circle concept has been an integral part of Indian culture for many centuries, as Indian law is based on healing and forgiveness for both offender and victim.

Set on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, the documentary "Rape on the Reservation" explores conditions for community members and youth on the reservation; social learning among SA perpetrators and victims; and highlights problematic jurisdictional issues in high rates of unprosecuted sexual assaults and violent domestic crimes on reservations.

Telling Amy’s StoryExit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving  is hosted by actress and advocate Mariska Hargitay, and told by Detective Deirdri Fishel. It follows the timeline of a domestic violence homicide that occurred on November 8, 2001.

Tribes Using Practice: Cass Lake IHS Hospital SANE DVPI


Duluth Model Intervention CurriculumExit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 

Description: A community using the Duluth Model approach:

  • Has taken the blame off the victim and placed the accountability for abuse on the offender.
  • Has shared policies and procedures for holding offenders accountable and keeping victims safe across all agencies in the criminal and civil justice systems from 911 to the courts.
  • Prioritizes the voices and experiences of women who experience battering in the creation of those policies and procedures.
  • Believes that battering is a pattern of actions used to intentionally control or dominate an intimate partner and actively works to change societal conditions that support men’s use of tactics of power and control over women.
  • Offers change opportunities for offenders through court-ordered educational groups for batterers.
  • Has ongoing discussions between criminal and civil justice agencies, community members and victims to close gaps and improve the community's response to battering.

Tribes Using Practice: Many


Financial Literacy Sessions (Local PP)

Description: Sessions educate, empower and strengthen participants to make decisions, and promote healthy vs. risky behaviors; three sessions in fiscal management.

Tribes Using Practice: Narragansett Indian Health Center DVPI


Girl Scouts of America—Domestic Violence Awareness merit badge (Anti-bullying Local PP)

Description: DVPI funds supported the local Piñon troop and helped with start-up support. In past years, the group had fewer than 20 members, but through the support of curriculum and camp funding, more than 85 girls in Kindergarten through 5th grade attended in three scout troops. The girls learned self-regulation, strong character development, and self-advocacy in relationships and business. Troops are led by a volunteer parent and supported by the after-school program at the elementary school. DVPI funds. Participating girls earned their Domestic Violence Awareness Badge and took an anti-bullying workshop designed by the Girl Scouts of America.

Tribes Using Practice: Piñon DV Prevention Program


Green Dot Anti-Violence Strategy and training Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 

Description: Focuses on ending interpersonal violence and recruiting males as allies, especially, for changing community members" perceptions and practices with respect to violence against women or using violence to solve conflicts.

Tribes Using Practice: Cherokee Nation SANE/SAFE/SART, Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corp.


Healing Shawl project (Local PP)

Description: The team members wanted the women who were victims to have comfort when they are testifying in court. They also saw this as symbolic to reaching out and comforting the women. The symbolize strength and empowerment for the women. The colors are purple, silver, yellow, and navy representing child abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking. They will be presented to the District Attorney's office and the victim witness coordinator with a framed story. The shawls will be hung by the plaque. Excerpt from program narrative, 1-31-13

Tribes Using Practice: Cherokee Nation SANE/SAFE/SART DVPI


Let's Get Real: Bullying Prevention

Description: Anti-bullying training for staff providing resiliency-building and prevention activities in communities and school districts working with both Native American and non-American Indian youth and children.

Tribes Using Practice: Eastern Shoshone MSPI


Mean Girls [Anti-bullying] Program (Local PP)

Description: Anti-bullying training for staff providing resiliency-building and prevention activities in communities and school districts working with both Native American and non-American Indian youth and children.

Tribes Using Practice: Oklahoma City DVPI


Native Hope (Helping Our People Endure)

Description: The Native HOPE program intentionally creates a safe and sacred place through culture, spirituality and humor for participants to address suicide, depression, trauma, violence, and substance abuse. Participants share openly and honestly about the challenges in their lives and make commitments to make positive changes in their attitude and behavior, as well as, to support each other. This peer-counseling approach helps Native youth break the "code of silence." The process allows youth to help their friends and peers get through crisis situations, and make the necessary referrals for support.

Tribes Using Practice: Chinle MSPI


Parenting with Love and Limits

Description: Parenting with Love and Limits (PLL) combines group therapy and family therapy to treat children and adolescents aged 10-18 who have severe emotional and behavioral problems (e.g., conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder) and frequently co-occurring problems such as depression, alcohol or drug use, chronic truancy, destruction of property, domestic violence, or suicidal ideation. PLL teaches families how to reestablish adult authority through consistent limits while reclaiming a loving relationship. It includes six multifamily sessions, conducted by two facilitators that employ group discussions, videotapes, age-specific breakout sessions, and role-play. Individual families also receive intensive 1- to 2-hour therapy sessions in an outpatient or home-based setting to practice the skills learned in the group setting.

Tribes Using Practice: Kodiak Native Health Association


Public Safety Brown University Rape, Aggression & Diversity Program (RAD)Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 

Description: Training for Sexual Assault and Resource Trauma Center for Tribal staff. RAD's objective is to develop and enhance self-defense options so they may become viable considerations to a woman who is attacked. The program includes lecture, discussion, instruction, and hands-on simulation. This dynamic program has the ability to empower ANY woman by providing her with the skills necessary to avoid, resist, and defend against an attack if she so chooses.

Tribes Using Practice: Narragansett Indian Health Center DVPI


Reality Therapy

Description: Reality therapy is firmly based on choice theory. Unsatisfactory or non-existent connections with people one needs are held to be the source of DV (and other BH) problems. The goal of reality therapy is to help people reconnect.

Tribes Using Practice: Project Holitopa Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma DVPI


The Ropes Course Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 

Description: The Ropes Course is one of several EBP activities in adventure therapy (experiential education). Existing research in adventure therapy reports positive outcomes in effectively improving self-concept and self-esteem, help seeking behavior, increased mutual aid, pro-social behavior, trust behavior and reductions in substance use and abuse.

Tribes Using Practice: Pinon American Indian Strengthening Families and DV Prevention DVPI


Silent Witness Silhouettes

Description: In 1990, the Silent Witness Initiative began promoting and education to support an end to domestic violence through community based exhibits. It started with a small group of volunteers in one state and grew into an international presence, with projects in all 50 states and 23 countries. Events feature life sized silhouettes that represent fallen victims of domestic violence.

Tribes Using Practice: Fort Thompson Health Center; Citizen Potawatomi Nation


Sources of Strength Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 

Description: Sources of Strength is a strength-based comprehensive wellness program that focuses on suicide prevention but impacts other issues such as substance abuse and violence. It is based on a relational connections model that uses teams of peer leaders mentored by adult advisors to change peer social norms about help seeking and encourages them to individually assess and develop strengths in their life.


Stickball (PP)Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 

Description: Excerpt from a progress report (Choctaw, DVPI020): Stickball is our traditional game that has traditional knowledge incorporated into the game that teaches our youth about relationships. It teaches about the expectation of being respectful and honorable with all and the relationships we should have with our families and children. Our program has shared [DV and SA prevention] information with both the children's programs and adult male and female teams.

Tribes Using Practice: United Voice Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma DVPI Project


Talking Circles Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 

Description: Communication in Native American culture is quite different than non-native competitive-style communication. Native style values cooperation over competition, which is reflected in many areas of their lifestyles. Often when Native Americans engage in conversation, they listen intently, usually looking down and not establishing eye contact until the person speaking is completely finished talking. Then the other person talks, expecting to be able to completely finish speaking without interruption or before the conversation turns to another person.

Tribes Using Practice: Native Americans for Community Action MSPI, Toiyabe Indian Health project MSPI


Traditional Healing Ceremonies, Community-building and Community-connection Activities (e.g., public blanket wrapping ceremony; Dinner songs; prayers; dream catcher making; beading; music, drumming, shell shaking and dancing; talking circles; art circles; weaving, pottery, regalia making; rug weaving, sash making)

Description: Native American healing includes beliefs and practices that combine religion, spirituality, herbal medicine, and rituals that are used for both medical and emotional symptoms. From the Native American perspective, medicine is more about healing the person than curing a disease. Traditional healers worked to make the individual "whole," believing that most illnesses stem from spiritual problems.

In addition to herbal remedies, purifying and cleansing the body is also important and many tribes used sweat lodges for this purpose. In these darkened and heated enclosures, a sick individual might be given an herbal remedy, smoke or rub themselves with sacred plants, and a healer might use healing practices to drive away angry spirits and invoke the healing powers of others.

Tribes Using Practice: (NOTE: All DVPI and MSPI projects indicate cultural components are part of treatment or prevention or educational programming to various degrees in their projects.)


Traditional Healing Gardens Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 

Description:Our "healing garden" is starting to help some individuals with nurturing and using their inner abilities to plan out activities that their efforts can be viewed in a positive way. We are working on a specific area for meditation within this area as well. Progress Report Narrative, 2014 (The form and composition of Healing Gardens vary with Tribal affiliations and intentions for use of the garden. This is noted on a related healing-garden webpage: Different Native American tribes or nations use various herbs as medicine. When combined, these cures amount to hundreds of plants. Native American medicine uses herbs and herbal remedies to bring the mind, body and spirit back into balance, thus healing the whole person.

Tribes Using Practice: Rosebud Meth Rehab Center MSPI


Traditional Pottery Classes

Description: Excerpt from Program Narrative: Traditional pottery classes are one of the most popular [prevention-connection] activities offered by this project. A community potter has been contracted to provide hands on training to children that are patients of our Family Services unit. From Website: Nambé is known for traditional micaceous pottery.

Tribes Using Practice: Eight Northern Pueblos Council


Traditional Rituals with Bird Songs and Rattles

Description: The Bird Songs are considered social songs that both men and women can participate in. Men will do the singing and stomping, and women will do dancing. As the Bird Songs are not ritualistic but social, they are free for interpretation, although the songs are done at religious gatherings where everyone is in attendance. Cahuilla history dictates that the Bird Songs originated around the same time the creation stories came to the Cahuilla. These songs are to describe the movements of the animal nations, including birds, and how they interact with human beings. The songs are considered ancient and an integral part of the Cahuilla Nation. History can be told within these songs, and it is only with oral retelling and teaching that the histories can be passed on to the next generations. These songs and dances are also considered moral songs, meaning there are lessons from the animal and bird nations that people are supposed to heed so they are not stuck in similar situations.

Tribes Using Practice: San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians MSPI


Trail Riders Diversion Program (also see Equine Assisted Therapy) Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 

Description: With Elders guiding, designing and driving the idea, the Trail Riders Club was formed. It is an equine focused diversion program that provides the opportunity for families to participate in a monthly activity involving horsemanship where participants can share Pima/Maricopa culture and recount a shared history—all of which fosters a sense of belonging. Youth and family members actually "ride" horses and wagons.

Tribes Using Practice: Gila River Phoenix MSPI