Nonprofits bring hope to domestic violence victims on Navajo Nation, here’s how you can help

Nov 29, 2023, 12:53 PM | Updated: 12:56 pm

BLANDING — You can help bring hope to those impacted by domestic violence on the Navajo Nation.  KSL TV spoke to an advocate who is holding an event this week to raise awareness and money for more resources.

There are two shelters on the Navajo Nation where women and children leaving an abusive home can find refuge. The nonprofit, Utah Navajo Health System relies on donations to provide this critical lifeline.

During the pandemic, domestic violence shelters on the Navajo Nation reported an increase in crisis calls. Since then, the Utah Navajo Health System opened two new shelters: Gentle Ironhawk Shelter in Blanding, and Northern Treehouse in Shiprock, New Mexico. The shelters provide vital resources – like housing, counseling, and therapy, to help survivors of abuse.

“They’re getting comprehensive healthcare in addition to a traditional medicine approach,” Sahar Khadjenoury with Utah Navajo Health System said. “So, the number of individuals we’re seeing we’re sometimes at full capacity and that’s difficult because that means the need is that great in the community.”

To keep these shelters running, the nonprofit is holding a fundraiser Wednesday night at the Utah Museum of Natural History.

“We’ve invited Joe Tohonnie, Jr and the White Mountain Apache Crown Dancers to come in and bless the community,” Khadjenoury said.

The Winter Blessings event is free. It’s an opportunity to take in a night of culture.

“This is something that’s very unique and it’s something that so many people may be experiencing for the very first time and that is something that is incredibly exciting,” Khadjenoury said.

More importantly, the money will help give families a new start. Winter Blessings will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Utah Museum of Natural History.

If you can’t attend the Winter Blessings event, but would still like to donate, visit: www.unhsinc.org/donation.

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Nonprofits bring hope to domestic violence victims on Navajo Nation, here’s how you can help