Domestic Violence in Alaska is a series that explores the reach of Alaska’s funding to address domestic violence and show some areas where it succeeds, as well as where it falls short. The stories explore the ways that the state’s health, justice and education systems take on domestic violence’s lesser acknowledged effects. The Alaska Beacon is publishing the series with the support of the University of Southern California Annenberg Center for Health Journalism’s 2023 Domestic Violence Impact Fund.

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Funding gap looms for Alaska’s domestic violence programs, but need for services is as high as ever

BY: - December 4, 2023

A major source of funding for Alaska’s domestic violence response has decreased significantly in the past five years, leaving a multimillion-dollar hole in the budget for services. That reduction, paired with the end of pandemic relief money and high rates of inflation, has domestic violence advocates scrambling to adequately fund the groups that keep one […]

Boats rest on the shore of the Kuskokwim River in Bethel, a hub community in the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta. Boats are a main form of transportation in Western Alaska, where most communities are not connected by roads. (Photo by Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)

With law enforcement sparse, Alaska villages build network of safety for survivors

BY: - November 29, 2023

Alaska is notoriously lacking in law enforcement for its remote communities, especially Alaska Native villages off the road system. These limitations put extra pressure on services in those communities to respond to violence after it happens, and a new program is aiming to help victims of violence. In Emmonak, a village of about 800 residents […]

Charlene Apok leads Data for Indigenous Justice and works with the state's Maternal Child Death Review to understand maternal mortality in Alaska. Apok analyzed data in their office on Sept. 25, 2023. (Photo by Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)

Data links Alaska’s sky-high maternal mortality rate to domestic violence

BY: - November 27, 2023

Charlene Apok sat in front of multiple computer monitors in an Anchorage office and scrolled through a spreadsheet of missing and murdered Indigenous Alaskans. The neat boxes on the screen were labeled with things like name, date missing, location or cause of death, but Apok saw more — narrative lines of deep family love and […]

Tundra Women's Coalition, the domestic violence and sexual assault shelter in Bethel, is seen in the afternoon light on Oct. 11, 2023. (Photo by Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)

Housing vouchers free up space in Bethel’s domestic violence shelter

BY: - November 24, 2023

In Bethel, as with communities throughout the state, affordable housing for survivors of domestic violence is hard to find, especially for people who travel from smaller villages to access services at the shelter. This last year, for the first time, the state’s housing program had housing vouchers for the Bethel domestic violence shelter. The shelter […]

An encampment of homeless people is off of 1st Avenue in Anchorage on Nov. 21, 2023. (Photo by Andrew Kitchenman/Alaska Beacon)

Domestic violence is feeding Alaska’s homelessness crisis 

BY: - November 22, 2023

Domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness for women and their children. Alaska’s major cities are struggling to manage homelessness, especially in the winter, when the stakes for survival are even higher. And experts have identified domestic violence as one of the faucets that floods cities with homelessness. “Probably every woman in here has […]

Alaska does not have enough housing to keep survivors of domestic violence safe

BY: - November 20, 2023

After she left her abusive boyfriend, Brynn Butler also lost her apartment. Drug use is a common coping response to the trauma of unhealthy relationships and she said her addiction to methamphetamines “spiraled.” “It just snowballed into, pretty much I lost everything, right? I was staying at a trap house with my children who were […]

A nine-story office building showing Juneau's courthouse

Alaska’s domestic violence council explores restorative justice methods in court sentencing

BY: - November 15, 2023

In a sunny room that faced towards the Gastineau Channel in Juneau, a group that included a city attorney, a Tribal employee, corrections officers and domestic violence advocates and survivors sat around a circle of desks to discuss how a new vision of justice could reduce domestic violence and increase public health in Alaska. A […]

Late evening on the Kuskokwim River in Nunapitchuk, Alaska. October 12. 2023. (Photo by Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)

Tribes, State Troopers increase access to justice for Alaska Native survivors of domestic violence

BY: - November 13, 2023

In remote parts of Alaska, justice and safety are hard for domestic violence survivors to access. Law enforcement is scarce and usually arrives after harm happens. But there is a tool that allows law enforcement officers to stop domestic violence before it starts: a domestic violence protective order. A domestic violence protective order, or DVPO, […]

Alaska pays millions to respond to domestic violence. Advocates want millions to prevent it.

BY: - November 8, 2023

When Kara Carlson experienced sexual assault as a teenager, she said it was traumatic but not shocking: “I was the last of my friends to experience sexual violence,” she said. “We live in this world where you have to prepare women for surviving trauma.” She now runs the women’s emergency shelter, Interior Alaska Center for […]

To prevent domestic violence, Alaska schools teach healthy relationships

BY: - November 6, 2023

By the end of the two-hour “healthy relationships” presentation, the seventh and eighth graders in the Anna Tobeluk Memorial School’s auditorium in Nunapitchuk were getting a little antsy. One girl popped a big, pink bubble on the top bleacher while short, animated videos demonstrated different teen interactions and asked students to gauge them on a […]

The Alaska Brain Bus is parked at Dr. Adam Grove's South Anchorage home on Sept. 26, 2023. (Photo by Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska doctor wheels hope to survivors of traumatic brain injury in his ‘Brain Bus’

BY: - November 4, 2023

After a bike crash, Dr. Adam Grove noticed he wasn’t the same. He said he was depressed for the first time in his life, quick to anger and tired all the time. It was 1998 and he was not yet a doctor, but had just left the military and begun medical school. He was commuting […]

Patty Raymond-Turner, a coordinator for the Brain Injury Council of Alaska, demonstrates what happens to the brain when it is injured, on Sept. 26, 2023, in Anchorage. (Photo by Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)

Advocates link Alaska’s high rate of traumatic brain injury with domestic violence

BY: - November 2, 2023

S. can’t remember how many times she has been hit in the head, but she remembers vividly the time she was choked. Those are two categories of injury she has survived over the course of her abusive marriages, and they are distinct because they can cause or contribute to traumatic brain injury. “I attract sociopaths, […]