Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women: Primary Data Collection
Primary data collection — the collection of information from first-hand sources using methods like questionnaires, interviews
and case studies — is a component of NIJ's research program on Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women. Primary
data collection is important because many of the data required to address the goals of the research program are not available
from data systems or sources, have not been collected, or have been collected but are incomplete.
NIJ has three primary data collection efforts under way:
- Tribal Study of Public Safety and Public Health Issues Facing American Indian and Alaska Native Women
- American Indian and Alaska Native Lifetime Prevalence of Interpersonal and Sexual Violence Survey
- Federal and Tribal Response to Indian Country Crime Study
1. Tribal Study of Public Safety and Public Health Issues Facing American Indian Women
The Violence Against Indian and Alaska Native Women (VAIW) Pilot Study
The VAIW pilot study was developed with input from tribal stakeholders to help ensure that NIJ's forthcoming national VAIW
study would be viable, culturally and community appropriate, and respectful of those involved; and that the information collected
would be relevant and helpful. With the approval of tribal leadership, several tribal communities were selected to pilot test
the VAIW survey and methods for selecting and recruiting survey participants. The VAIW pilot study was conducted from November
2011 through March 2012.
The VAIW pilot study goals were:
- To create and test a survey instrument with women who self-reported as American Indian (AI) or Alaska Native (AN) and resided
on recognized tribal lands in the United States.
- To test study methodology, including different sampling strategies and data collection approaches.
The survey instrument tested included several domains, such as perceptions of community crime and safety; victimization experiences;
victim and perpetrator characteristics; impact of victimization; reporting of victimization; service needs, seeking and use;
attitudes toward the criminal justice system; and community strengths. The questions were developed by the research team or
adapted from a variety of surveys.
Read the Violence Against Indian Women Pilot Study Research Workshop meeting summary (pdf, 18).
Field Implementation of the Tribal Study of Public Safety and Public Health Issues Facing American Indian and Alaska Native
Women (also referred to as the National Baseline Study)
In partnership with NIJ, a research team will implement the study designed to generate estimates of the prevalence and incidence
of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking among adult AI and AN women in Indian Country and Alaska
Native villages. Based on a solid, scientific sampling design plan; sufficient funding; and tribal nation participation, a
satisfactory number of sites will be identified for data collection that reflect a high-quality geographic distribution of
AI and AN women that reside in Indian Country and Alaska Native villages throughout the entire United States.
2. American Indian and Alaska Native Lifetime Prevalence of Interpersonal and Sexual Violence Survey
As part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Study (NISVS), the
AI and AN population was oversampled in calendar year 2010 — the oversample comes primarily from urban areas. The goal of
this project is to generate geographically representative estimates for AI and AN lifetime prevalence of interpersonal and
sexual violence. Data from this additional study were not presented in the 2010 NISVS Report released December 15, 2011, but
will be described in a future NIJ publication.
Read the NISVS Report.
3. Federal and Tribal Response to Indian Country Crime Study
NIJ is collecting detailed information on federal and tribal responses to sexual violence, intimate partner violence, and
stalking of AI and AN women living in tribal communities. The study involves several complementary data collection activities,
including face-to-face interviews with federal and tribal agency representatives responsible for investigating and prosecuting
these crimes — including tribal law enforcement officers and prosecutors; FBI special agents and victim specialists; members
of the U.S. Attorney's Office (USAO); tribal liaisons; victim/witness staff; and Bureau of Indian Affairs agents, criminal
investigators, and victim specialists — and documenting district policies, training, and outreach efforts.
Study findings are expected to provide a clearer understanding of existing issues in the justice system responses to violence
against AI and AN women to improve law enforcement, prosecution and judicial responses (including interagency coordination
and communication); strengthen training and outreach efforts to build cultural competence; build victims' trust in law enforcement;
encourage reporting of victimization; and, ultimately, reduce violence among AI and AN living in tribal communities.
Date Modified: February 20, 2013