Frequently Asked Questions About the National Baseline Study

On this page find answers to frequently asked questions related to the National Baseline Study (NBS):

If you have additional questions or concerns, please e-mail

General Questions About the Study

Q: What is the purpose of the NBS?
A: The NBS will provide accurate information on violence against American Indian (AI) and Alaska Native (AN) women living in tribal communities and AN villages. These national estimates are important and can be used to formulate intervention and prevention strategies.
Q: Who is responsible for the NBS?
A: NIJ is responsible for overseeing all NBS activities.
Q: Who are the stakeholders involved with the NBS?
A: The most important partners are the tribal communities that agree to participate in the study. NIJ, American Indian Development Associates (AIDA) and RTI International are also involved in the NBS study. Learn more about the responsibilities of each organization.
Q: How long will the study last?
A: The study is expected to last for 42 months (3½ years). NBS activities began in spring 2014 and will conclude in summer 2017. Learn more about the NBS timeline.
Q: How will the findings be disseminated?
A: The findings and related study activities will be disseminated in a number of ways. Presentations will be conducted at conferences, meetings, webinars and briefings related to public safety and health and wellness. Possible venues include the U.S. Department of Justice’s annual Tribal Consultation on Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women and Biennial National Indian Nations Conference, the National Congress of American Indians Annual Convention and Marketplace, the annual Alaska Federation of Natives Convention, and congressional briefings and Tribal Council meetings.

Publications also will be prepared for tribal and federal audiences across various channels, such as bulletins for NIJ’s and the Office on Violence Against Women’s websites; manuscripts for submission to tribal, trade and scholarly peer-reviewed publications; tribal community newsletter articles; and articles and interviews for news venues such as Indian Country Today and Native American Calling.
Q: How can I get copies of publications related to the NBS?
A: As publications become available, information on how to obtain copies will be made available on this website.
Q: Is this study confidential? What does confidentiality imply?
A: Yes, all of the information will be kept strictly confidential, meaning that all of the data will be stored without names, addresses or any other personally identifying information. All of the findings will be tallied and presented in such a way that the information cannot be linked to participants or tribes. Responses are protected from being released with identifying information to anyone.

We will not release the names of the tribes participating in the study. However, tribal leaders may decide on an individual basis to disclose that their tribe participated in the study. Even if this is the case, it will not be possible to link information to particular members of a tribe.

Questions About Tribes

Q: How were tribes selected for the study?
A: Tribes were selected from a list of federally recognized tribes. From this list, NIJ and stakeholders selected at least one tribe from each Indian Health Service region. Learn more about the Indian Health Service regions.
Q: How will the rights of tribal nations be protected?
A: Since 1993, NIJ has worked successfully with tribal communities by ensuring collaboration and transparency through full partnerships that involve local buy-in and coordination. NIJ and the other study stakeholders are committed to continuing this tradition throughout the NBS process. This includes protecting the rights of tribal nations.

NIJ and AIDA staff will secure permission and approval of tribal government authorities. Because participation is voluntary, NBS staff will communicate directly with tribal leaders to explain the study and gauge interest in participating. If tribal leaders express interest in participating, NIJ and AIDA staff will work directly with them to secure permission through tribal decisionmaking processes (e.g., via tribal council meetings, tribal resolutions, tribal Institutional Review Boards, Memoranda of Understanding or participatory agreements). This includes data and information transfer and sharing agreements, as well as site-specific protocols to ensure the research does not harm the tribal community.

NIJ will not publically disclose the tribal nations and AN villages that agree to participate in the study. Thus, tribes that wish to remain anonymous can do so.
Q: What will be asked of tribes that participate in the study?
A: Tribal involvement in the NBS is vital to the success of this research. Tribes that agree to participate will be involved in securing community support and providing input on research objectives, respectful strategies for documenting information, and ways to create safe and trusting environments for study participants. Tribes also will help identify resources for interviewing facilities and provide access to sampling sources such as tribal census, housing lists and tribal voter registrations.
Q: How will tribes benefit from participating in the NBS?
A: Tribal respondents that participate in the NBS will receive compensation for their voluntary participation in the study. Tribes that participate will provide input throughout the study to promote the collection of accurate information that could help them develop prevention and intervention strategies to reduce victimization in their communities.

Questions About Participants

Q: How will NIJ protect the rights of study participants?
A: NIJ and AIDA staff will secure permission and approval from tribal government authorities. This includes data and information transfer and sharing agreements and site-specific protocols to ensure the research does not harm participants. Read more about privacy in the NBS.
Q: What will be asked of NBS participants?
A: Participants will be asked questions about their experiences with violence and victimization, health, crime in their community, service needs and help-seeking behavior, as well as their opinions about safety issues in the community, the types of support available and law enforcement.

The interview will be conducted in person and is expected to last approximately 60 minutes.

Participation in the study is voluntary. Even if someone agrees to participate, she can withdraw her consent at any time. She also may choose to skip (or not answer) questions that she is not comfortable answering.
Q: How are households selected to participate in the study?
A: Households are selected at random after tribal leaders agree to participate in the NBS. Once NBS staff receive permission to conduct research in a community, they randomly select households based on the sampling sources (such as tribal census, housing lists or tribal voter registration) provided by tribal leadership.
Q: How are participants selected to participate in the study?
A: Women are invited to participate if they live in one of the selected households and meet the eligibility requirements. All women in the household age 18 and older are eligible to participate.
Q: Is there a cost for participants who take part in the study?
A: The primary cost to participants is the time it takes to complete the interview (approximately 60 minutes). To the extent possible, NBS staff will provide whatever support services are needed for participants to reduce or eliminate the burden of participating in the study.
Q: I know someone who wants to participate in this study? How can they sign up?
A: Unfortunately, it is not possible to volunteer to participate in this study. Participants have to be selected at random. In other words, everyone in the population must have an equal opportunity of being chosen to participate. It is important for participants to be randomly selected to ensure that the sample is representative of the population.
Date Created: January 21, 2015