172956 Lessons learned: A grassroots effort to start a woman's shelter for Native women

Monday, October 27, 2008

R. Cruz Begay, DrPH , Health Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ
From 1986 to 1996 the author participated in a grassroots coalition that organized to prevent domestic violence in a remote area of the Navajo Reservation. The group consisted of volunteers and employees from the Indian Health Service, Tribal organizations, local churches and reservation businesses. The coalition was able to open a women's shelter home that is still in operation today (2008). The presentation will provide the author's experiences and lessons learned in the process of advocating against domestic violence and operating the women's shelter, including: dealing with opposition to women leaving their homes, recruiting volunteers in a depressed economic area, developing a non-profit board and local leadership, working with Reservation police departments, developing protocols for admittance to the women's shelter, fund raising, confidentiality within a small community, and finding a location for a shelter home where housing is extremely limited and difficult to acquire.

Learning Objectives:
1. Understand reasons for possible resistance to setting up a women's shelter for Native women. 2. Describe two methods for gaining community support and leadership to prevent domestic violence. 3. List three community resources for helping to set up a successful shelter home for Native women.

Keywords: Domestic Violence, Native Americans

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I participated in a grassroots effort to found a shelter for women experiencing domestic violence on the Navajo Reservation. We received several awards from the community and the Navajo Tribe for work to prevent domestic violence.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.