StrongHearts Native Hotline office in Sault Ste. Marie to provide support for survivors of domestic, sexual abuse

Eastern UP

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (WJMN) – A new facility in the eastern Upper Peninsula is preparing to open to provide services for Native Americans who are survivors of sexual and domestic violence.

StrongHearts is a nationwide, 24/7 Native helpline that can provide tools and support for survivors of sexual and domestic abuse. Based out of Minnesota, StrongHearts is now opening an office in Sault Ste. Marie to serve as a central hub for all 12 tribes of Michigan and beyond.

“The state of Michigan actually reached out to StrongHearts to see how they can support both our organization and the 12 tribes that are located here in the state of Michigan,” said Linda Jump, director of StrongHearts. “And so this really is kind of a pilot project to see how we can work together to increase services for Native Americans here in the state. Most tribal programs really are smaller. They tend to be underfunded and with very limited staffing, which results in someone being on a call 24/7. And so what we’re working to do is to fill in that gap for them and kind of be that connection between people who need services and in a program during their off-hours.”

Linda Jump explains why a Native hotline is important for indigenous communities.

According to StrongHearts, American Indian and Alaska Native women suffer some of the highest rates of violence and murder in the United States. StrongHearts offers peer support, education, crisis intervention, personalized safety planning, and other resources. Jump hopes that this service can be a lifesaving resource for indigenous communities.

“I just really want people to understand that you know, domestic violence and sexual violence are very real issues in our communities. Help is available. Survivors are not alone. Please, please reach out if you need assistance.”

StrongHearts is an anonymous, no-cost confidential service. If you or someone you know is experiencing sexual or domestic violence, you can call or text 1-844-7NATIVE (1-844-762-8483) to speak with a StrongHearts advocate.

For more information, click here to visit StrongHearts’ website.

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