Fri Oct 9th, 2020
Tags: Digital abuse, Domestic Violence, Emotional Abuse, Financial abuse, Gaslighting, National Domestic Violence Hotline, National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, Native American Elders, Native American Elders domestic abuse, Native Americans and Alaska Natives, Physical abuse, sexual abuse, Spiritual and cultural abuse, StrongHearts Native Helpline, Violent behavior
Native American Elders: A Native American is usually considered an elder when they are above the age of 60 to 65, although it varies from tribe to tribe.
In our Native communities, we are taught to respect our elders. We honor them at ceremony, community gatherings, and powwows. Their presence is considered to be an honor. We depend on them for wisdom and guidance gleaned from their years of experience. They are invaluable to us. Yet, they can still be victims of domestic violence.
Abuse can happen to anyone. It is not limited to a specific age, class, religion, gender or sexual orientation. Abuse can happen in relationships where couples are married, living together, dating or have children together. Violent behavior can appear at any time in a relationship, though possessive, controlling and other alarming behavior often reveals itself as the relationship becomes more serious.
Domestic violence happens when an intimate partner uses a repetitive pattern of abuse to maintain power and control over their partner. The abuse can physically harm, intimidate, prevent a person from acting freely, or force them to behave in ways they do not want.
Types of Abuse
What can domestic violence look like in elder relationships? Domestic violence can look similar in elder relationships as it does in their younger counterparts, but some elders may be more vulnerable to the impacts of abuse and less able to get support.
A Stay Together Era
Elders can be more traditional. They came of age when families stayed together even during abuse. Some elders have endured a lifetime of domestic violence. To understand why elder-survivors of domestic violence stay, consider the following.
Help is Available
At StrongHearts Native Helpline, we know that Native American elders are humble and it can be difficult for them to ask for help. Native Americans and Alaska Natives experience domestic violence at higher rates than any other ethnic group and that elders still suffer intimate partner violence. Domestic violence and dating violence are not Native American traditions, and neither is ever okay.
StrongHearts Native Helpline is a free, culturally appropriate, and anonymous helpline for Native Americans and Alaska Natives impacted by domestic violence and dating violence. We acknowledge and support all victims regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation or relationship status. If you or someone you love is experiencing domestic violence, help is available.
Contact StrongHearts at 1-844-7NATIVE or click on the Chat Now icon to connect one-on-one with and advocate daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT. As a collaborative effort of the National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) and the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, after-hour callers can connect with The Hotline by choosing option #1.