Women’s domestic violence shelter to open doors in Hooper Bay

by RurAL CAP Staff

The Native Village of Hooper Bay and Rural Alaska Community Action Program, Inc. (RurAL CAP) will open a women’s domestic violence shelter in the Hooper Bay sub-region in early 2020 as a result of extensive collaboration with community stakeholders.

The Hooper Bay Victim Services Project will provide comprehensive victim services and support for women and their children who have experienced domestic violence and/or sexual assault in Hooper Bay and the surrounding sub-region including Chevak and Scammon Bay. RurAL CAP has partnered with regional and statewide organizations that are experienced in facilitating victim services in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region to plan and implement this project.

“By providing these trauma-informed and culturally relevant victim services,” RurAL CAP CEO Patrick M. Anderson said, “we intend to address Adverse Childhood Experience (ACEs) that will lead to acceptance, acknowledgement and, ultimately, healing from these traumas.”

Renovation of the building, a space provided by the Sea Lion Corporation, began in September. In partnership with the Native Village of Hooper Bay, RurAL CAP will staff the shelter 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with victim service advocates and community outreach and legal workers trained in trauma-informed services.

“Alaska Native communities experience the highest rates of family violence, suicide and alcohol abuse in the United States,” according to The Washington Post’s article “In rural villages, little protection for Alaska Natives,” with “a domestic violence rate 10 times the national average; physical assault of women 12 times the national average.”

In the Alaska Victimization Survey published by the University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center, 4 out of 10 women living in Yukon-Kuskokwim communities like Hooper Bay have experienced intimate partner violence in their lifetime and one in four adult women have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime. The rate of child maltreatment was 69.3% higher in Alaska compared to the national rate, according to the State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.

“Local and statewide partnerships are key to this project’s success,” said Cathie Clements, RurAL CAP Community Development Director. “We are honored to work alongside so many devoted organizations to make this vision a reality and look forward to developing new partnerships as we support community needs.”

Partners for this project include U.S. Department of Justice, Native Village of Hooper Bay, Sea Lion Corporation, community organizations and members from the sub-region of Hooper Bay, Emmonak Women’s Shelter, Tundra Women’s Coalition, Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center and the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

Those interested in contributing to the Hooper Bay Victim Services Project can make donations to the “Hooper Bay Domestic Violence Shelter Fund” by searching the Fundly website at www.fundly.com.

Governed by a 24-member Board of Directors representing the public sector, the private sector, and the different regions of rural Alaska, RurAL CAP is a private, statewide, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. With a mission to empower low-income Alaskans through advocacy, education, affordable housing and direct services that respect Alaskan’s unique values and cultures, RurAL CAP collaborates with community partners to ensure that all Alaskans have access to the vital services needed to promote the vision of Healthy People, Sustainable Communities, Vibrant Cultures.