Research Plan for the Violence Against Indian Women National Baseline Study

On this page, find information about the National Baseline Study (NBS):

Study Design

The NBS research design was driven by the goal to determine an accurate national victimization rate of violence against American Indian (AI) and Alaska Native (AN) women living in tribal communities. A national estimate provides an overall picture of the patterns and magnitude of violence and victimization against AI and AN women living in tribal areas and AN villages. However, a national sample does not capture the variation in victimization that exists among tribes.


The NBS has a multistage sampling plan. In the first stage, tribes were selected using a plan developed by NIJ that allows for at least one tribe from each of the 12 Indian Health Service regions to be included in the study. This ensures that tribal communities that are geographically dispersed throughout the lower 48 and Alaska are represented in the study. The selected tribes will be approached to participate voluntarily.

The second stage of the sampling plan involves the random selection of households from each participating tribal community. All women in the household are eligible to participate in the study if they:

  • Are 18 years of age and older.
  • Self-identify as or are enrolled as a members of a tribe.
  • Agree to participate in the study.

Survey Content

The purpose of the survey is to understand the experiences of AI and AN women living on tribal land and in AN communities, including their opinions about safety issues in their communities, their experiences with violence, the kinds of support available to them, and their opinions about law enforcement.

The NBS survey will solicit self-reported information related to:

  • Respondent demographic characteristics
  • Health and wellness
  • Community crime and safety
  • Psychological aggression, coercive control and entrapment
  • Sexual violence, physical violence and stalking
  • Perpetrator demographic characteristics
  • Impact and reporting of victimization
  • Service needs, seeking and utilization
  • Attitudes toward law enforcement
  • Community strengths

Data Collection Procedures

The survey will be administered in person through a combination of computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI) and audio computer-assisted self-interviewing (ACASI). With CAPI, an interviewer will read survey questions to the respondent, who will then enter her responses into a laptop. The ACASI technique will be used during parts of the survey that address particularly sensitive subjects. For these questions, respondents will be given a touch-screen laptop and headphones. They will listen to a female voice read the questions, which also will be visible on the computer screen. Participants will enter their answers directly into the computer.

The length of the interview will vary across respondents, but the average length is 60 minutes.

Site-specific protocols will be developed and refined in partnership and coordination with participating tribal nations. This includes:

  • Identifying resources and interviewing facilities.
  • Providing study support services such as childcare, transportation, behavioral health specialists, interpreters and local interviewers.
  • Obtaining confidentiality agreements and addressing any conflicts of interest.


Every precaution will be taken to ensure the privacy and rights of the tribal nations and individual respondents who volunteer to participate in the NBS. Because the NBS is a national, congressionally mandated and federally funded study, it requires review and approval from the Office of Management and Budget. This review includes an assessment of every aspect of the research design, including the data collection methods, sampling plans and study protocols.

NBS staff received Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval from AIDA’s research partner, the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, in September 2014 and from RTI International’s IRB in July 2014. Early in 2015, the Indian Health Service IRB also will do a courtesy review of the NBS research protocols and related materials to ensure that appropriate steps are taken to protect the rights and welfare of all participants..

NBS staff will take additional steps to protect participants’ privacy, including privacy certificates, confidentiality agreements and nondisclosure agreements with participating tribes, and information transfer agreements.

Study Timeline and Events

The NBS will take place over 42 months. NIJ and AIDA staff will work with tribal, state and federal stakeholders throughout the study process to continually increase awareness and keep stakeholders informed and updated about the study.

Date Modified: November 27, 2017