• American Indian;
  • intimate partner violence;
  • pregnant and/or parenting teens;
  • sexual abuse;
  • sexual trauma

PROBLEM: The highest rate of reported intimate partner violence (IPV) is among women 15–45 years old (Hart & Jamieson, 2001) with 20% of pregnant teens reporting abuse (Campbell, 1999); however, little research on IPV and American Indian teen mothers has been done.

METHOD: The purpose of this paper is to describe the degree of IPV and current sexual trauma among a group of Northern Plains adolescents being served by an American Indian teen mother program.

FINDINGS: The relationship of trauma, substance abuse, and trauma symptoms are described. IPV was reported by 61% of the participants, with 37.5% reporting IPV during pregnancy and 22.5% reporting current sexual trauma.

CONCLUSIONS: Development and testing of interventions for American Indian teen mothers, specifically related to trauma, are needed in addition to primary mental health services by agencies caring for this population.