Context and Purpose of the Violence Against Indian Women National Baseline Study

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has a trust responsibility to protect and act for the betterment of tribal nations. As DOJ’s research, development and evaluation agency, NIJ is dedicated to improving knowledge of crime and justice through science conducted in a thoughtful, collaborative manner that respects tribal sovereignty and the self-determination of tribal governments.

The National Baseline Study (NBS) is one component of a broader agenda of NIJ’s Violence Against Indian and Alaska Native Women (VAIW) program of research. This program was implemented to carry out the congressional mandate outlined in Title IX, Section 904(a) of the Violence Against Women Act of 2005, as amended by Section 907. This legislation tasked NIJ, in consultation with the Office on Violence Against Women, with conducting research on crime and victimization committed against American Indian (AI) and Alaska Native (AN) women living in Indian Country.

Learn more about NIJ’s VAIW research program:

Purpose of the Study

The NBS is the first nationally representative study of AI and AN women living in Indian Country and AN villages. AI and AN women will be interviewed to assess their experiences with violence and victimization, health and wellness, community crime, service needs, and help-seeking behaviors and outcomes, as well as their opinions about public safety. Ultimately, the NBS is expected to:

  • Produce a deeper understanding of the public safety issues faced by adult AI and AN women living in AI communities and AN villages.
  • Quantify the magnitude of violence and victimization in tribal communities to gain a better understanding of service and resource needs.
  • Provide accurate data that can be used to formulate public policies and prevention and intervention strategies to decrease the incidence of violence committed against AI and AN women.
  • Evaluate the response to violence against AI and AN women by all levels of government.
Date Created: January 21, 2015