enhancing access for individuals with limited english profiency toolkit

Escape

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Alerta de seguridad: si cree que sus actividades en la computadora están siendo monitoreadas, por favor accese este sitio web desde una computadora más segura. Para salir inmediatamente de este sitio, haga clic en la tecla “esc”. Si está corriendo peligro en este momento, llame al 911, a la línea de crisis local, o a la Línea Nacional Directa contra Violencia Doméstica al  1-800-799-7233 o TTY 1-800-787-3224.

 

<30%

of Latinas know of IPV services and options

 

While the number of studies examining intimate partner violence (IPV) in Latin@ populations is growing, research on this issue continues to be limited in quality and breadth. We have compiled what we believe are the most current data on this topic and summarized it below.

Barriers to services

In light of recent immigration enforcement policies, the apprehension to call the police due to the fear of deportation has become more salient for many Latina survivors.

14%

of Latina immigrant women had problems accessing IPV services due to immigration issues

  • Immigrant Latinas may fear deportation while seeking help from social services[13].
  • Specifically, immigration status is often identified as a barrier for immigrant Latinas to seek services[37].
  • In a recent study, immigrant Latina survivors reported a decrease in the likelihood of calling the police due to heightened immigration enforcement policies and increased fear of deportation[48].
  • Latina survivors report that immigration status is often used as a control mechanism to ensure that they do not leave the abusive situation[13, 37, 43].
  • The strength of this control tool is amplified by the current realities of heightened deportation and immigration enforcement[48].
  • A survey of over 500 foreign-born Latina women found that 14% of participants reported experiencing problems in accessing IPV services due to immigration issues, some reporting they were denied IPV services for lack of proper identification[55].
  • Threatening Latina survivors to take away their children if they leave their partners was an especially powerful strategy used by men against undocumented, non-English speaking women[45].

In addition to immigration, studies have found that low awareness of resources for PIV, language and cultural differences act as significant barriers to Latina survivors’ ability to access services.

50%

of shelters in one study offered child-related services

  • There is little awareness of IPV services and options among Latina survivors[56].
    • Women report a lack of knowledge about available resources in the community as a common barrier to services[41].
    • One study found that only 1 in 4 Latin@s had heard of IPV protective orders[57]
  • Lack of culturally and linguistically appropriate services is also a barrier for many Latina survivors, as it is for women from many other racial/ethnic groups.
    • A study found that 1 in 3 shelters did not have any Spanish-speaking staff.
    • Only half of the participating shelters offer child-related services.
    • Additionally, many of the problems stemming from diverse cultural values were not respected and went unresolved[59].

For all works cited and references, please visit the References page

How

should future studies be conducted?  

 

While the number of studies examining intimate partner violence (IPV) in Latin@ populations is growing, research on this issue continues to be limited in quality and breadth. We have compiled what we believe are the most current data on this topic and summarized it below.

Future steps

Future studies exploring IPV among Latin@ populations must address two general areas:

Methodology

  • Future national studies need to include sufficiently large Latin@ samples that permit teasing apart the relevant differences and commonalities of Latin@ subgroups.
  • Many of the scales and methods used currently may not be appropriate for capturing information that accurately reflects the experiences of Latin@ populations. The relevance and appropriateness of current measures and methods should be explored and new ones developed as needed.
  • The direct voices of diverse Latin@ populations need to be incorporated into research to explore in greater depth the context in which violence occurs.

IPV

research needs to include direct voices from diverse Latin@ populations

Resilience, Current Realities, & Prevention

  • In order to recognize the resilience of Latin@s, studies of physical and mental health outcomes of Latin@s should also incorporate a focus on the strength and protective factors of this population.
  • In the light of the current immigration enforcement policies that are impacting thousands of Latin@s across the United States, it is critical that future research continue to document the various unintended consequences of such policies on Latina survivors and their children.
  • Routes for prevention identified by Latino community members and service providers include using a community approach, education around teen dating violence, prevention focused programming, and empowering vulnerable populations[60].
  • Because IPV is a worldwide public health issue of epidemic proportions, prevention strategies that are developed within culturally specific and relevant frameworks will ultimately be required. This is particularly important in the case of Latin@ populations, given their increasing presence and prominence throughout the United States.

For all works cited and references, please visit the References page

 

What

are the contextual factors that affect IPV?

 

While the number of studies examining intimate partner violence (IPV) in Latin@ populations is growing, research on this issue continues to be limited in quality and breadth. We have compiled what we believe are the most current data on this topic and summarized it below.

Contextual Factors

IPV happens within the context of a family’s daily life, which is deeply affected by numerous factors, both personal and systemic, that impact and are impacted by IPV. Some of these have been documented in the literature.

IPV

happens within the context of a family's daily life

  • Cultural values must be identified and understood to develop effective IPV interventions[43]. Two values of particular importance in the occurrence and prevention of IPV in Latin@ communities are the importance of family (familismo) and strong gender role expectations.
    • Familismo refers to the central place that the family has in most Latin@s’ lives. Strong family roles point to the father as the primary breadwinner (although this role is rapidly changing due to economic realities) and to the mother as the person responsible for the well-being and cohesiveness of the family[44].
    • Gender role expectations change as Latin@ immigrants acculturate to their new environment. However, for many Latinas their role as mothers is still the most important aspect of their lives, a responsibility against which most of their decisions and actions are weighed. A study found that Latina survivors prioritized their children over themselves, protected them, and provided for them as best as they could[45].
  • Religion often plays a strong role in Latinas’ decisions on how – or if – to address IPV.
    • Religious beliefs may stop some Latinas from using services because they believe that the “sanctity of marriage” precludes their taking steps that could result in divorce or separation.
    • Negative and/or uninformed reactions of religious leaders to disclosures of IPV often result in Latina survivors feeling responsible for making their marriage work regardless of the violence they are experiencing[46].
    • In addition, among Latina survivors of violence, negative religious coping styles are associated with increased symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder[47].

35%

of Latina survivors in one study reported an increased climate of fear

 

  • Economic factors (such as employment issues related to immigration status) were also identified by Latina survivors as important elements that affect IPV[43].
  • Immigration is, for many Latin@s, the most salient element of their lives. As a result, Latina survivors’ decisions about IPV are deeply affected by their immigration status and the climate of their communities. As is discussed in the Barriers to Services section, this contextual factor is a prime barrier to their ability to access resources.
  • Anti-immigrant environments created by strict immigration enforcement policies and increased rates of deportation have impacted many Latin@ communities. For example, immigrant Latina women affected by IPV have reported experiencing increased rates of harassment, including reports of being followed by strangers, called derogatory words and discrimination at work[48]. Increased climate of fear due to the immigration enforcement environment was identified as a barrier to reporting or help-seeking by 78% of respondents in a national survey conducted by national domestic violence advocacy organizations[49].  
  • Acculturation has been the focus of multiple studies investigating how the process of adapting to cultural norms in the US might relate to immigrant Latinas experiences of IPV. Studies find that IPV is less prevalent among those with strong ties to traditional Latino cultural values and orientation[50]. Similarly, increased orientation towards American non-Latin@ culture has been associated with poor mental health among Latina survivors[47].
  • Sociocultural factors that include the intersection of immigration status and levels of acculturation should be taken into consideration[5].

For all works cited and references, please visit the References page

What

are Latina survivors concerned about?

 

While the number of studies examining intimate partner violence (IPV) in Latin@ populations is growing, research on this issue continues to be limited in quality and breadth. We have compiled what we believe are the most current data on this topic and summarized it below.

Needs

The needs identified by Latina survivors point to the importance of culturally appropriate resources and approaches to assist Latin@ families experiencing IPV. Below is a list of needs identified by Latina survivors and community advocates[41].

Cultural and linguistically appropriate services should include responses that account for cultural differences among Latino ethnic groups[6].

Information about:

  • Rights as a survivor
  • Legal services
  • IPV
  • Help when going to court
  • English lessons
  • Protection/safety
  • Transportation
  • Education for independence
  • A place to stay
  • Someone to talk to in private

Resources and responses that[42]:

  • Are in their native language
  • Incorporate culturally specific spaces and providers
  • Do not ask about immigration status
  • Include space and services for children and extended family
  • Address all genders in the community

Commentary

Despite the focus on shelters as the preferred mainstream strategy to assist IPV survivors, Latina survivors did not mention shelters among their most urgent needs. This finding should be viewed in the context of not only the potential unawareness of the existence of shelters in this country but also the reluctance of Latina women to leave their community for a variety of reasons. This in no way negates the need for Latina survivors to have access to emergency shelters and housing to address their experience of IPV.

For all works cited and references, please visit the References page

 

 

Below are a number of infographics that can be downloaded for use in your organization. Click on each image to download the corresponding infographic.