The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium says it's the first time this type of data is brought together all in one place. "Healthy Native Families: Preventing Violence at All Ages" highlights how domestic and sexual violence affects Alaska Natives in all stages of life. The bulletin aims to provide hope but also highlight the higher numbers of abuse among Alaska native people compared to Alaska non-natives.
46% of Alaska native women report being hit, slapped or physically hurt by their partner, which is double the percent of Alaskan non-native people. And among Alaska natives, there were more than 2,000 maltreatment cases in 2009 sent to the Alaska Office of Children Services. That's nearly 200 more cases than non-native people. The report shows that 15.8% of Alaska native mothers of 3-year-olds reported that their child saw violence or abuse in person. That's in comparison to 2% of Alaskan non-native people.
The bulletin reports if a child sees violence in their homes, they are more likely to be victims of physical and sexual abuse themselves, and may develop a list of problems.
"There are many consequences that can be lifelong. Both in behavioral health addiction and violence, as well as physical health,” said Laura Avellaneda-Cruz, epidemiologist for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.
The compilation categorizes domestic and sexual violence as a major health issue that has not always been a significant problem in Alaska, but may be affecting more Alaska natives now because of historical trauma that’s passed on from generation to generation.
You can find a link to the study here.