The Southwest Indigenous Women’s Coalition (SWIWC) is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a nonprofit domestic violence (DV) and sexual assault (SA) coalition serving the Tribes and Native DV/SA nonprofits in Arizona. Through training and technical assistance, SWIWC’s primary purpose is to increase the capacity of tribal communities to better address and respond to the domestic and sexual violence occurring in their communities. SWIWC also works at a systemic level to effect change that will increase the safety, justice and healing of any person that has been a victim of domestic and/or sexual violence.
SWIWC conducts site visits with tribal DV/SA programs and/or departments addressing DV/SA such as social services or behavioral health to identify their training and technical assistance (T/TA) needs. Based on site visits, T/TA is tailored to fit the needs of each community. A site visit usually includes a review of program goals/objectives and the level of capacity/ability/staff to implement goals/objectives. In most cases law enforcement, courts, judicial, prosecution, health care, social services, behavioral health and of course the DV/SA programs are not working together as well as they could be. Often staff and leadership turnover as well as economic priorities; limited funding; the inability to enhance and/or enforce stronger laws; and, factors such as alcohol and other substance abuse have significant impact on a community’s ability to effectively address the violence occurring in their community. As a result many tribal communities are struggling to keep victims safe, promote healing and hold offenders accountable.
SWIWC has provided on-site DV/SA trainings and technical assistance to over half of Arizona’s 22 tribes as well as numerous regional trainings and summits that focus on specific topics relating to DV/SA that encourage meaningful discussion and action planning. SWIWC created and utilizes a pool of dynamic, passionate, culturally sensitive/respectful, and highly competent women and men who serve as faculty at SWIWC trainings.
SWIWC is fully funded under a grant from the Office on Violence Against Women, Department of Justice. Currently, SWIWC has a staff of four, operates via virtual offices and a sub-office in Chinle, Arizona.