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National Community Outreach Project Latinas and Sexual Violence Part 2.

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Presentation on theme: "National Community Outreach Project Latinas and Sexual Violence Part 2."— Presentation transcript:

1 National Community Outreach Project Latinas and Sexual Violence Part 2

2 Immigrant Victimization Refugee and immigrant women are often beyond the reach of those who could help them. Rape has become so prevalent that many unauthorized immigrant women take birth-control measures before crossing the Mexico- United States border.

3 Latina Immigrant Vulnerability Many immigrant Latina domestic workers (Vellos, 1997)— Have language barriers. Live in constant fear of being deported. Suffer social isolation. Depend on their employers for their livelihood and are vulnerable to their demands.

4 Latina Immigrant Vulnerability (cont.) I was only 16 when I came to work in this country as a live-in maid. I was isolated from everyone I knew and felt very alone. The woman who hired me took my personal documents and she had a temper. But I was more afraid of her husband and his friends when they got drunk. They made me very nervous when they would try to flirt and joke about me dancing for them like a stripper. They offered to pay me for it. I felt trapped and very afraid, especially when she was away. —Translated survivor testimonial

5 Immigrant Survivors’ Rights Most survivors are eligible for— Police response and protection. Services from sexual assault and domestic violence programs. Civil protection orders from the courts. Criminal prosecution of assailants. Custody and support for children. Emergency medical care.

6 Immigrant Survivors’ Legal Rights Violence Against Women Act. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of  T-Visa (for victims of severe forms of human trafficking).  U-Visa (for victims of other types of crimes).

7 Online Visa Resources WomensLaw.org U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

8 Needs of Immigrant Victims: Services Interpretation by trained persons. Clear explanations of rights, options, services, and the criminal justice process. Legal advocacy from immigration specialists (bilingual staff or interpreters are crucial). Police protection without fear of deportation.

9 Needs of Immigrant Victims: Establishing Trust Ensure the victim is accompanied by companions “de confianza” (trustworthy) or victim advocates. Avoid referrals to several different advocates during the initial stage. Provide emotional support and spiritual support as the help- seeking process continues.

10 Needs of Immigrant Victims: Accountability Providing updates and keeping the survivor informed requires ongoing followup with the various agency contacts throughout the process. Promoting interagency accountability empowers survivors to regain some sense of control and not lose faith. It also helps keep a case alive.

11 Building Community Partnerships Rape crisis centers should focus on outreach and prevention as well as responding to trauma. By developing or upgrading relationships with agencies already providing education to the Latina/o community, an individual center can—  Promote awareness of the services it offers.  Enhance community member access to their center and services.  Promote cross-training and collaboration opportunities.

12 Building Community Partnerships (cont.) Established Latina/o organizations with existing bilingual/bicultural staff, programs, and community trust can be valuable allies and agents of change:  Local “centros” (Latina/o community centers).  “Promotoras” (community health workers).

13 Promotora/Community Health Worker Promotora, Animadora, Community Health Advisor, Community Health Worker (CHW): Workers who are indigenous to the community and who serve and train through a community-based organization or health service agency.

14 Promotora/CHW Programs At least 600 promotora/CHW programs were using approximately 12,500 community health advisors in 1998 (University of Arizona and Annie E. Casey Foundation, 1998). The 2004 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s community health advisor database listed profiles of over 200 programs representing more than 10,000 CHWs (Lujan, 2009).

15 Promotora/CHW Programs (cont.) According to a 2007 study (Health Resources and Services Administration, 2007)— Approximately 86,000 CHWs assisted communities throughout the United States in The states with the largest CHW populations were California, New York, Texas, Florida, and Pennsylvania.

16 Promotoras as Allies They are part of social networks through which community members offer and receive social support among themselves. They may already be concerned about the sexual violence that affects their communities and know where survivors and perpetrators reside.

17 Promotoras as Allies (cont.) They can bridge the formal service delivery system of the survivor service agency and the community's informal social support system by directly reaching the survivors and referring them to advocacy and support. Their host agencies may already have established training programs that can easily integrate sexual assault issues (Zárate, 2003).

18 Educational Tools and Activities Spanish-language media. Popular education. Popular culture: songs and “telenovelas” (soap operas). Workshops, “pláticas” (informal talks), and psycho-education sessions conducted in Spanish. Community fairs/festivals. Faith-based groups. Beauty parlors. Schools. Health clinics. Resettlement organizations.

19 Educational Tools and Activities (cont.) In the past 20 years, Spanish radio in the United States has grown into a major multimillion-dollar industry (New America Media, 2009). During the first three quarters of 2009, $4.03 billion was invested in Spanish-language media (JakeAdams Editorial Services and Research Consultancy, 2010).

20 Educational Tools and Activities (cont.) Outreach efforts can include the following Spanish-language media: Public service announcements on local radio stations. Articles in local newspapers and community newsletters, especially during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Analysis of “telenovela” content for sexual assault themes for use in group discussions. Analysis of song lyrics for group discussion on male entitlement, victim blaming, sex with underage girls, and other rape culture themes.

21 Popular Education/Educación Popular Popular education— Empowers people to be the subjects of their own development. Incorporates the whole person through movement, song, and theater. Often draws on popular culture, using drama, song, dance, poetry, puppetry, mime, art, storytelling, and other forms.

22 Popular Culture: A Tool for Sexual Assault Awareness Popular culture can— Enhance communication among audiences with an oral tradition. Demonstrate respect for community cultural values and enhance group spirit. Demystify the information conveyed and make it accessible and relevant. Encourage participation and learning (Bates, 1996; Proulx, 1993). (Kerka, 1997)

23 Conclusions Latina/o communities are diverse and rapidly growing. Various barriers to services exist for monolingual Spanish- speaking survivors. Culture and social assumptions may hinder a survivor’s ability to define and report sexual assault.

24 Conclusions (cont.) Language plays a key role in intervention and prevention. Victim advocates should be knowledgeable of the cultural origins of their clients. The use of interpreters requires skill and training. Human translations are superior to non-human translations.

25 Conclusions (cont.) Community outreach promotes awareness and accessibility of services. The promotora or CHW can be a valuable outreach partner. A range of education/information tools are available for Latina/o outreach. Popular culture and popular education techniques can be effectively incorporated into sexual assault awareness work to promote the active engagement of diverse communities.


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