Identifying the Needs of American Indian Women Who Sought Shelter: A Practitioner-Researcher Partnership

Kathleen Talbot, Bonnie S. Fisher, Scott Decker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


American Indian women across all ages are significantly more likely than women of other ethnic groups to be victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Despite their increased risk of interpersonal violence, there are few published studies or reports that explicitly examine the needs of victimized American Indian women. Therefore, both researchers and service providers know very little about the multifaceted needs of victimized American Indian women and whether current community services are meeting the needs of victimized native women. Identifying such needs is a logical next step so that victim service agencies can develop and effectively provide services tailored to victimized American Indian women. This commentary addresses these gaps by (1) identifying the needs of American Indian women in a domestic violence shelter in Arizona, and (2) highlighting the researcher-practitioner partnership that made it possible to gain access to these victims. Drawing on survey responses from 37 American Indian female clients and interviews with 10 staff members, the findings reveal that the domestic violence agency service provider is meeting many of their needs. Findings also indicate that clients have a wide variety of specific personal needs (e.g., safety, housing, transportation), needs relating to their children (e.g., safety, education, socialization), community needs (e.g., relating to their tribe), as well as legal needs (e.g., help obtaining a restraining order or divorce). These multifaceted needs are discussed and specific recommendations are provided for successful researcher-practitioner partnerships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-256
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Family Violence
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1 2018


  • American Indian women
  • Domestic violence shelter
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Native American family violence
  • Needs assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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